IDC: Worldwide SMB Market Top 10 Predictions 2010

IDC SMB 2010 Predictions I attended IDC’s Worldwide SMB Market Top 10 Predictions 2010 conference call today.  The call was led by Raymond Boggs, Vice President, Small/Medium Business and Home Office Research, but included a long list of analysts from IDC’s Small Business team.

IDC predicts that while SMB IT spending will recover, the impact of the recession will linger, impacting spending.  The conference call provided insights into how SMB spending on IT is changing by company size, by geography, and by technology.

Here’s a summary of the top predictions as presented on the conference call.

  1. IT Spending Recovers, But Not Enough To Make Up For 2009 Decline:  IDC forecasts SMB IT spending will grow 3.7% over 2009 (decline in 2009 was 4.3%).  Total IT spending by SMB will reach  $509.6 billion in 2010.
  2. Developed Regions:  SMB spending recovery will be more modest in developed regions.
  3. Developing Regions:  IDC forecasts that we’ll see more dramatic SMB spending gains in developing regions, including CEMA at +9.9%, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) at +7.3%, and Latin America at +7.1%. 
  4. Mid-Sized Firms:  IDC says that IT spending growth in mid-sized firms will outpace spending in smaller firms. .
  5. IT Spending Categories:  IDC says all IT spending categories will benefit from the increased SMB spending in 2010.  IDC expects services, software, and PCs/peripherals will benefit most, with 3-4% gains.
  6. Workforce Productivity:  IDC expects growth in spending for productivity tools to support remote workers and mobile employees.
  7. Cloud Computing and Software-as-a-Service: IDC says spending for Cloud and SaaS will gain traction in 2010, especially among medium-sized businesses. .
  8. Social Media:   IDC predicts that the use of social media will rise as SMBs figure out how to use it to reach new customers and learn about new technology.
  9. Focus on Innovative Solutions with Near-Term Benefits:  IDC says SMBs will be looking for alternative approaches to solutions and productivity tools that can provide near term benefits.  Social computing, mobility, personal storage, advanced networks, Cloud computing and SaaS all can add new productivity capabilities to SMBs, but SMBs will be looking to implement those solutions that can provide quick benefits.
  10. IT Infrastructure:  IDC expects that SMBs will continue to focus on building infrastructure capabilities (storage, security, and network resources) in order to support initiatives.

I have a big place in my heart for SMBs as that is the market where I ‘cut my teeth’ in the early 80’s when I joined IBM as a S/34 Systems Engineer and worked later as a Sales Rep.  Back then there were many, many SMBs that I called on that did not even have a computer in house.  Getting some of them to install GLAPPR and BICSARSA applications was a major sales effort.  There’s no question that the market for selling and servicing SMB organizations has totally changed since the early 80’s!!

For more information:

  • You can listen access a replay of the conference call Worldwide SMB Predictions 2010
  • Watch the IDC website for the release of the document Worldwide SMB 2010 Top 10 Predictions: Challenging Economy Will Sharpen Technology Focus on Near-Term Productivity Gains
  • Check out the SMB IDC website “Solving the SMB Puzzle

IDC: Top 10 Storage Trends for 2010

IDC IDC is well into its top 10 trends  and predictions season.   Last week they held their conference call on Storage trends for 2010.  On the conference call were leaders from the IDC Storage team 

This was a very useful conference call that helped me understand the key trends in storage.  As we all know, the volume of data being created globally is going through the roof.   Storage requirements are being stressed and that trend will continue for some time.  Enterprises need to have a solid storage strategy.  Those that are successful can build a competitive advantage via a dynamic information-centric environment based on intelligent analytics.

Here’s a summary of IDC’s Top Ten Storage Trends

  1. Decapitalization of IT:   Focus will be on reducing capital costs
  2. BU To Re-establish Independence From IT:  Expect solutions focus to drive increased use SaaS  
  3. Digitization Of Major Industries Will Lead To Enable Operational Effectiveness:  Look for specific vertical industry solutions from Storage Solution Providers
  4. Acceleration In The Adoption of Storage-efficient Technologies:  Including technologies like:  Deduplication, Thin Provisioning and Storage Tiering 
  5. VM Will Drive New Management And Optimization Of Data Access:  Focus on managing how and where associated data will be accessed.
  6. Focus On Datacenter Density Improvements:  IDC expects SAS form factor will be shipped as a primary disk interface.  Also expect increased shift towards the 2.5” HDD form factor. 
  7. Improved And Expanded Use Cases For SSD. Compliments the push for improved performance, storage utilization, and reduced power consumption.
  8. Personal Storage Will Look To SMB For New Opportunities:  IDC says personal storage vendors realize their is money to made in SMB.
  9. Consolidation of Protection, Recovery, and Retrieval:   In the midmarket, backup and archiving will come under a common management framework
  10. Storage Vendors Will Go-To-Market With Turnkey Packages: Expect combination of compute, network and storage packages.

For more information, check out IDC’s Worldwide Storage Predictions 2010: Capitalizing on Transformation

On Twitter, you can follow IDC’s storage team at:  Follow all of IDC on Twitter:

Steve Strauss: Top 10 Trends In Small Business

INTLE029 Small business are the engine of any economy.  No doubt that in 2010 the eye will be on small businesses to see if they can collectively help get the economy back on track.

Steven D. Strauss is a lawyer, author and speaker who specializes in small business and entrepreneurship.  He recently had a couple articles published in USA Today that provided a list of top trends for small business.   Here is a short summary of his list of Top Trends in Small Business, 2010:

  1. The Start-Up Economy:   While the state of the economy will continue to impact small businesses, it is small businesses that will jump start the recovery. 
  2. Mobile Mania:  Mobile marketing is exploding. In 2010 there will be mobile options galore for small business.
  3. Sharing vs. Shared Experiences:  1) people look for, and increasingly expect, the personal, and 2) small, localized, immediate user-created media are where the eyeballs are headed. 
  4. Going Local:  Consumers are increasingly looking for a local angle when looking where to spend their hard-earned dollar.
  5. Social Media Grows Up:  Hop on the social media train because it's headed out of the station at light speed.
  6. Green Opportunities:  There will continue to be opportunities galore in the eco-sphere for the entrepreneur.
  7. Welcome the Era of Hyper-Connectivity:   The accelerating trend is towards using a variety of tools to create an e-interconnectedness and manage your digital brand.
  8. Less Money, More Responsibility: More and more small business will have to learn to get by on less, even while their financial burden grows.
  9. The New Employee:  Employees are shifting, or are being shifted, to part-time or independent contract status.  Full-time employment with full-time benefits is becoming harder and harder to find, and to offer.
  10. The New Frugality:  People are spending less, saving more, and are looking for bargains.  

The two articles can be found here Top 10 trends in Small Business and here Ask an Expert: Top 10 trends in small business continued

For more from Steven D. Strauss….he writes columns for USA Today newspaper (see previous columns here), has a book out:  The Small Business Bible and authors a newsletter, "Small Business Success Secrets!"  

Midsize Companies Must Work Smarter, Leaner

A new IBM-sponsored study, “Inside the Midmarket: A 2009 Perspective”, found that although the economy is driving midsize companies to work smarter and leaner, many of these midsized companies are not actually decreasing their investments in IT, but maintaining current levels or increasing their IT spend to focus on strategic areas.

There is no doubt in my mind that these midmarket companies will play an important role in re-energizing the economy.  It is refreshing to see that these companies are not only resilient, but they are willing to invest in emerging technology areas that will position their companies for growth when the economy does improve.  

The study identified five important trends for midsized businesses:

  1. The highest-priority technology solution, chosen by 75 percent of respondents, is Information Management, which turns mountains of data into meaningful insights.
  2. The most pressing business challenges include increasing efficiency and productivity (80 percent), improving customer care (74 percent) and better use of information (72 percent).
  3. The impact of the economy on IT budgets has caused 53 percent to actually increase or re-prioritize their spending, with 37 percent reporting a decrease.
  4. Despite the economy, more than two-thirds of those surveyed are planning or currently implementing their top IT priorities.
  5. A majority of firms view their primary IT provider as a technology advisor or IT and business consultant, with 25 percent seeing the relationship as purely transactional.

And despite pressure to cut costs, the survey found that midsize companies are proceeding with IT investments in emerging technologies in areas such as information management, social media, and cloud computing.    Although these areas showed up lower on the scale of critical priorities, midmarket companies are actively pursuing these emerging technology areas to improve performance.  The survey shows that 79 percent intend to implement or have established goals to implement Green IT solutions, while 71 percent said they have plans to implement Web2.0/social media solutions and 69 percent said the same for cloud computing solutions.


The “Inside the Midmarket study” was based on an online survey of 1,879 respondents in 17 countries, is designed to gain insight into the business plans and challenges, growth/innovation strategies, IT purchasing trends, and industry-specific pain points of midmarket companies (100 – 999 employees).  To download the study, visit

Springboard: India IT Market To Grow At 14% in 2009

Springboard research recently published a list of top trends expected to impact IT spending in India in 2009.  In their press release, Springboard predicts that India’s IT spending is expected to grow at an annual rate of 14.1% in 2009, down from 18.1% growth in 2008.  Springboard says that IT spending in verticals like retail and real estate will be hardest hit, while the advent of 3G and a largely protected financial system will help sustain growth in the telecom and banking/finance verticals respectively.  In addition, government stimulus initiatives to spur economic growth and increase spending on public security and national defense, coupled with rural sector initiatives should include outlays for new technology in the years to come.

India's Top Ten IT Trends

Here is Springboard's list of the top 10 trends in IT spending for India in 2009

  1. Arrival of 3G unlocks enormous opportunities for IT vendors
  2. Cost concerns will drive a key focus on IT infrastructure consolidation
  3. Economic pressures to drive SMBs towards outsourcing and SaaS
  4. Start-ups and smaller firms become more important accounts for IT vendors
  5. Virtualization will gain traction in medium and large sized enterprises
  6. IT outsourcing will be seen as a catalyst to HR retention and cost reductions during the economic squeeze
  7. Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry to transform further with new technologies
  8. Online advertising markets to gain momentum with the emergence of niche social networking sites and regional portals
  9. The Public Sector will buoy IT spending
  10. Green IT will be fueled by cost efficiency benefits

Springboard’s executive brief, “India IT Market Predictions 2009,” is available for free download at Springboard's Research Central (registration required)

India's Top IT Services Vendors

Springboard also recently released a report on the IT Services market in India.  Springboard says that the US$4.8 billion Indian IT Services Market is a highly fragmented and competitive marketplaces.  The top three players, IBM (market share 10.8%), Wipro (market share (8.7%) and TCS (market share 6.1%), took up a quarter share of the market.  According to Springboard’s research, the market in 2008 saw an overall increase in the average deal size of contracts where buyer enterprises are not only using IT vendors as technology providers but as business partners, providing them with means of competitive differentiation.   More information can be found at Top 10 Vendors Grabbed 39% of India’s IT Services Market in 2008, Says Springboard Research