Small businesses are spending more on IT, but nearly half of firms surveyed see IT as a freelance role rather than an in-house function.
The survey from PeoplePerHour, an organisation which connects small businesses to skills, found that PHP and SEO skills were most in demand among SMEs.
Forty-three per cent of small business owners see IT as a role for freelancers exclusively, rather than in-house IT professionals.
More than 60% of respondents to the survey said they would increase their investment in IT and web, with 38% of small business owners planning to increase their use of IT freelancers. Only 18% plan to hire in-house staff.
"The last decade has seen a boom in remote freelance working, facilitated by the internet," says PeoplePerHour.com CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou. "This has been led by the IT industry, which lends itself to freelancing. Our survey findings suggest that the importance of IT industry to the freelance economy is set to grow."
Skills most in demand among SMEs:
2. SEO/link building
5. iPhone Apps
8. Flash game development