Resellers reckon that SMBs expect to increase their technology spend during 2010 in an attempt to invest in tools that will directly benefit their bottom line, according to research released by Microsoft.
In its second annual SMB/Partner Insight report, Microsoft revealed that 63% of its Small Business Specialist partners said their SMB customers would up their IT spend this year, with overall spending levels expected to jump 16%.
Encouragingly, the study highlighted increased willingness among SMBs - which often lack dedicated IT staff - to turn to the channel to provide business and vertically-focused tech guidance.
Other findings included high levels of customer interest in server virtualisation and cloud solutions, as well as increased remote working capacity.
"The most competitive SMBs are investing in IT that will not only help protect and strengthen their business, but prepare them for success when conditions improve," said Birger Steen, P of SMB and distribution for Redmond's Worldwide Small & Midmarket Solutions and Partners Group.
"Which technologies SMBs choose can help determine the speed of their return to financial stability," he added.
Microsoft surveyed over 500 VARs in Canada, the UK and the US, as well as the emerging economies of Brazil and India.