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IT budgets grow as SMBs spend more on tablets and cloud services, says survey

Sixty-two percent have deployed or plan to deploy tablets within the next six months

Small and medium-sized businesses are spending more money on IT, including adopting tablets, cloud services and virtualization to a greater extent, according to Spiceworks' State of SMB IT survey.

IT budgets at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees grew 6 percent in the first half of 2012 from the second half of 2011, and 15 percent year-over-year, according to the survey.

The average annual IT budget is currently US$152,000, up from $143,000 for the second half of 2011 and the $132,000 reported for the first half of 2011, it said.

SMBs are spending more on technology across the board, from hardware and devices, to cloud services and virtualization. For example, 62 percent have deployed or plan to deploy tablets within the next six months. That compares to the 50 percent reported for the second half of 2011, according to Spiceworks.

Also, 48 percent use cloud services and 64 percent use virtualization, compared to 28 percent and 54 percent for the first half of 2011, respectively.

While the growth of virtualization is tapering off, the respondents are virtualizing more applications -- 3.1 applications versus an average of 2.1 applications a year ago.

The largest portion of IT budgets will be allocated to hardware purchases, followed by software and IT services, according to the survey.

The State of SMB IT survey included 1,498 respondents from around the world. About half of respondents were from North America; 33 percent were from Europe, the Middle East and Africa; 15 percent from Asia-Pacific; and 4 percent from Latin America, according to Spiceworks.


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