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Small Businesses Ready To Spend On Mobility

Notebook computers will be business owners' highest technology-spending priority in the next year, survey says.
Small-business owners are ready to spend on technology, with mobility high on their lists of priorities, according to a recent survey.

The survey of about 400 small businesses was conducted in March by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Hewlett-Packard, which derives about a third of its revenue from sales to small and midsize businesses. Participants were limited to businesses with one to 99 employees, and results were released at the Small Business Administration Expo in Washington as part of National Small Business Week.

"HP generates about $24 billion annually from the SMB market, and a deep knowledge of that space is crucial to our success," says Kevin Gilroy, senior VP and general manager of HP's global SMB business segment.

More than 80% of those surveyed said they plan to increase technology spending over the next two to three years and specifically cited plans to improve corporate Web sites and online services. Those planning to increase technology spending anticipate doing so by an average of 20%.

Survey respondents also "sent a loud and clear message that they aren't tethered to the office," and mobility is high on their lists of concerns, Gilroy says.

According to the survey, small-business owners spend 27% of their time outside the office, and 32% consider notebook computers critical to their businesses.

More than a third say notebook computers help keep them competitive with larger companies, and 36% say the acquisition of more notebook computers will be their highest technology-spending priority in the next year.

In February, HP held its Mobility Summit in which it outlined plans to target small and midsize customers with tailored mobility offerings, including hosted E-mail services, wireless-LAN assessment services, and an expanded notebook-computer portfolio.