The world’s 145 million SME businesses are poised to spend $1.45trn on IT, telecoms, ‘… as a service’ technology and cyber secutiry in 2023 as they seek to transform to a more cost-conscious environment.
The predictions, based on the data in Analysys Mason’s SME Technology Forecaster, which provides insights into SME spending in 132 technology categories in 52 countries, point to a shakeup in how vendors and the reseller channel sell to SMEs. Its research has found that one in three SMEs plan to switch channel providers to gain enterprise levels of service and support.
SME behaviour has also shifted significantly, resulting in more demand for cloud-based and as-a-service solutions, which have become a key SME strategy.
Among the key findings are that SMEs will spend more than $66 billion on IT solutions from telecoms operators, will lavish money on ‘… as a service’ offerings and will invest in cyber security.
According to the report, SMEs will increasingly look to telecoms providers for IT advice, support and services. 80% of SMEs would consider taking IT services from operators. Operators are creating targeted IT services bundles for SMEs and partnering with software/service providers to help them to reach a broader SME market.
SMEs’ spending on platforms-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions is also expected to grow by 18% year-on-year from $3.4 billion in 2022 to $4.0 billion in 2023 as SMEs demand more flexibility without committing to expensive IT resources. Early adopters will increase their use of advanced analytics tools such as business intelligence (BI) and AI-powered applications.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) spending is expected to grow from $44 billion in 2022 to $54 billion by 2023, representing a 22% year-on-year growth. SMEs are seeking to optimise and automate functions to increase efficiency and improve data utilisation. Spending on BI, ERP and line-of-business software such as electronic health records, 3D design, and IT monitoring solutions, will increase rapidly as a result.
PC and device-as-a-service (PCDaaS) models will shift focus from device procurement to a fully integrated IT experience. SMEs will increasingly value a holistic experience that includes services for deployment, desktop support, recovery, security and managed services for their dispersed workforce.
SMEs will continue to be concerned about cyber security thanks to device proliferation and ongoing geopolitical concerns. Spending on cyber-security solutions will increase from $69 billion in 2022 to $77 billion in 2023.
“SME technology spending is gradually getting back to pre-pandemic levels,” says Bob Takacs, Research Director, Analysys Mason. “While there is concern about the broader economic environment, SMEs have a high degree of confidence in their own businesses given that they pulled through the pandemic successfully and are focused on how they can be more effective and set up for growth. They are looking for managed services and solutions that enable them to do that, without having to manage their own IT environments.”
The message to technology vendors and resellers is to focus on service and support, while delivering clear messages around the business use cases of technology solutions. SMEs are looking for simple procurement and installation, tiered pricing and comprehensive support.