With sustained global and local economic pressures you'd be forgiven for thinking that all was doom gloom. The list of issues currently facing the IT market continues to mount: consumer confidence is shaky at best, the number of enterprises in the UK has continued to decline, higher prices on shipping and potential shortages on components through the next year. It sounds pretty damning; however, the IT market has continued to grow.
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In the Business-to-Business (B2B) market there has been a significant growth of almost 200% in volume and value this Apr-Jun 2011 against the same period last year. This marks a significant drive forward in software sales. Stemming from HDD management and security software sales the ability to manipulate hardware to obtain greater efficiency and secure business and personal data has become crucial. However, some of the key stories also lie with keying devices, headsets, storage, webbooks (or tablet devices) and notebooks. All of which have seen increased volume and value sales rise in the B2B market in Q2 2011.
If we observe the peripheral categories first; keying devices has grown by 36% in value and volume in Q2 2011 against Q2 2010. Keying has seen the standalone side of the market grow well, now comprising 72% of the value sales in the period Apr-Jun 2011. Remarkably this appears to co-incide with an increase in the number of brands in the market place and also through a strong sell of specific keycard keyboards in the latest period of June 2011. This is somewhat surprising given that desktop computing is falling by 14% in value and 3% in volume.
The Storage segment of peripherals also continues to drive sales forward. Yes, Cloud is growing and demand for services will drive forward in the coming quarters. However, this has not dampened demand for hardware. With storage growing by 21% in value terms over this Q2 2011, the use of NAS devices with greater capacity is of utmost importance. 2TB drives and over now account for 24% of value in the B2B market this Q2 2011, where they only accounted for 14% in the same period last year.
More surprising is that the notebook category is up by 3% in value terms this Q2 2011 against Q2 2010. This compares to the value drop of 12% in the retail market. It is likely that the impact of webbooks is having a much heavier effect on the consumer side of the market than B2B. Further, with the end and start of the financial year these figures maybe elevated so there is scope that this figure may move by the end of the next quarter. Webbooks themselves have also seen growth, though not to the extent in the retail market. At almost 3% of the value in the B2B channel there is definitely an inclination that these devices can be used in the business environment. Whether they are packaged and equipped correctly will depend on the impact they have in the B2B.