Spiceworks Ziff Davies’ research provides useful insight into IT spending trends in 2021, as well as what technology small businesses would demand in 2022.
The following are some key takeaways:
In 2022, 54% of small businesses expect their sales to rise. Only 8% anticipate a decline in revenue as a result of IT budget increase acceleration: The majority of small businesses (45%) aim to raise or maintain their IT budgets (39 percent) year-on-year
Although hardware and software investments are still more popular in this industry, 26% of small businesses are investing in the cloud.
Spending on futuristic technology will be re-energized by businesses: Small businesses should concentrate on gigabit Wi-Fi networking, IT automation, and the internet of things.
Small businesses (those with less than 99 employees) are confident about their income projections for 2022, notwithstanding the hardships of the previous two years. Despite being less enthusiastic than larger organizations, more than half (54%) expect their revenue to increase, while 28% expect it to stay the same. Only 8% of those polled expect a decrease.
Factors that influence IT spending
Moreover half (53%) of the 1,000 businesses polled* expect their IT spending to increase in 2022, while 35% expect it to stay the same as in 2021. Small firms, on the other hand, are less inclined to do so, with 45 percent expecting budget increases and 39 percent expecting no changes.
The most common reason given by small businesses is the necessity to upgrade outdated IT infrastructure, which is cited by 42%. In the aftermath of the epidemic, a third of small businesses (33%) are motivated by security concerns, while 32% are prioritizing IT projects. Thirty percent said they plan to increase spending as a consequence of increasing business revenue, while 29 percent blame inflation.
When it came to the reasons for updating IT, the most prevalent reasons for small businesses were existing equipment reaching the end of its life (59%), being in the middle of an update or refresh cycle (54%), and the requirement to support further growth (54%). (52 percent).
What is in high demand?
There has been a noticeable movement in budget allocation towards cloud-based services. This percentage has risen from 22% in 2020 to 26% in 2022 across all firms. Small businesses are just as eager to invest as their larger counterparts, with 26% promising to do so in the coming year. Productivity (16%), online backup or recovery, business support apps, and web hosting are the most popular investments made by small businesses in this area (all 10 percent).
However, 31% of companies still plan to spend on hardware in order to modernize their infrastructure. One-fifth of small businesses (21%) plan to invest in new laptops, with 19% planning to spend on desktops. Servers (11%) and networking (8%), as well as tablets and mobile devices, will receive significant investment (6 percent). Dell sells a large choice of laptops, PCs, and servers, so buying everything from them is a good decision.
The software will account for 29% of total investment, with the most popular areas of concentration being industry-specific applications (14%), productivity software (13%), and security software (13%). (12 percent). Only 14% of small businesses are considering managed services, which is much lower than their larger counterparts.
Dealing with the Future
Covid-19, predictably, put a stop to many organizations’ intentions to investigate the promise of more futuristic technology, instead of focusing on current demands like enabling a remote workforce.
While small businesses are less likely than larger businesses to delve into emerging technology, there are indicators that such projects may start to return around 2022. The adoption of Gigabit Wi-Fi networking — wireless communication systems with data transfer speeds of one gigabit or greater – is the most visible example of this, with 59 percent of small businesses using it now or planning to do so in the next two years. Small businesses will benefit from faster data uploads and downloads thanks to this infrastructure, which will become increasingly vital as the use of cloud services grows.
IT automation technology (58%) is also a priority, as is the internet of things (40%) that involves the embedding of sensors in physical objects to allow devices to connect with one another. A small factory, for example, may use this to follow things across the supply chain and uncover inefficiencies.
Other emerging technologies include virtual desktop infrastructure (34%), which hosts desktop environments on a central server; 5G technology (32%), which provides significantly faster mobile connectivity; and artificial intelligence (23%), which uses machines to perform relatively low-level tasks like basic customer service communication, potentially automating processes and saving small businesses money.
Virtual reality (15%), a computer-generated environment viewed through a headset, and blockchain (14%), a decentralized technology that allows the secure storage of digital information, are two less popular desires.
Investments are also being made in emerging security solutions. In the next two years, 76% of all organizations surveyed indicate they have already deployed or will implement staff security training tools, with the same percentage focused on anti-ransomware solutions. Hardware-based authentication products are being considered by 68 percent of respondents, while breach detection and response tools are being considered by 59 percent, and zero-trust security solutions are being considered by 57 percent.
It can be challenging to sort through all of the possibilities and determine what should be your first priority. It’s a good idea to work with an IT company that can help you with this – Dell Technologies Advisers can provide tailored guidance for small businesses – and keep in mind that the cheapest choice isn’t always the best.
Read more: Top 12 Strategic Tech Trends for 2022