Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a good place for job security in 2009, with more than half expecting their staffing levels to stay the same.
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Despite many SMEs planning to cut IT budgets by 4%, staffing levels will be largely safe, although cuts will occur in less than a third of businesses.
Forrester Research questioned 3,497 executives in SMEs across North America and Europe between February and May this year. Of those questioned, 57% said they expected staffing levels to remain stable throughout the year.
In comparison, just 29% said they expected to reduce headcount. IT appears to be an important function for most small businesses, with almost half considering it a critical or high priority and 15% calling it critical.
The report said: "Overall, the global recession has made CIOs and IT decision-makers cut back their IT budgets, with North American and European SMEs expected to decrease 2009 IT operating budgets by 4% and IT capital budgets by 2% to 3%. IT staff headcount and compensation are likely to stay the same, although cuts will occur in less than one-third of SMEs. Improving IT efficiency and streamlining business processes are top priorities."