According to the State of SMB IT survey results released today by Spiceworks, the social business network, SMBs are continuing to expand IT budgets, which now average £94,000 ($152,000) per year, writes Linda Endersby.
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This survey of 1,498 IT professionals from companies with less than 1,000 employees in 100 countries was conducted during the first quarter of 2012 via the Spiceworks Voice of IT market insights programme.
"The results also show that SMBs are spending more on technology across the board, from hardware and devices, to cloud services and virtualisation," said Jay Hallberg, co-founder and vice president of Marketing for Spiceworks.
"Despite facing a double dip recession, SMBs in the UK are investing in IT for better growth."
Overall IT budgets at SMBs grew 6% in the first half of 2012 from the second half of 2011, and 15 % year-over-year. The largest proportion of the investment is allocated to hardware purchases (40%) followed by software at 34% and IT services at 26%.
As well as the monetary growth 56% of SMBs are retaining their IT headcount and 30% intend to hire additional staff over the next six months.
The research also finds that SMBs across the board are increasingly adopting tablets with 62% having deployed or planning to deploy the gadgets within the next 6 months, up from 50% previously reported.
Out of the sample questioned, 75% support personal devices such as iPhones, android phones and iPads but IT departments are divided on support for the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, with only 20% fully embracing it. 35% say it only works well for certain devices and 25% claim the trend is a headache.
Cloud services and virtualisation also continue growth but at a slower rate than previous quarters with cloud services being used by 48% of respondents only up 2% from 2011. Meanwhile, 60% said they were using virtualisation, up only 3% from the second half of 2011.
"Data from this recent survey confirm that the consumerisation of IT is flourishing among SMBs, although opinions vary on how to manage its impact on organisations," concluded Hallberg.