In 2017, SMB IT spending will top $20 billion over 2016, with both traditional 2nd Platform (PC, server, network) and 3rd Platform (social, mobile, cloud, big data) spending continuing to grow. Almost universally though, the preferred coordination of on-premise and cloud resources will be shifting to solutions with a cloud emphasis. And what has been the relatively fragmented and improvisational nature of SMB IT spending will begin to echo the coordinated and managed approaches seen among larger firms. While line-of-business (LOB) departments and decentralized technology acquisition will continue to characterize purchasing by smaller firms in particular, a growing share of SMBs increasingly interested in leveraging technology investments in more comprehensive ways will encourage coordination and cooperation among different constituencies. To this end, cloud service brokering (CSB) will emerge as the primary vehicle for midmarket (firms with 100–999 employees) consumption of cloud services. SMB IT leaders will need to develop IT staff skill sets that are both domain specific and consultative. Recent news around enterprise software platform enablement with cognitive/artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and chatbots will provide most SMBs with smart, automated software that can drive better decision making and also give SMBs operating in manufacturing and IT industries access to advanced product development capabilities.
Below are IDC's top 10 predictions for SMBs in 2017:
- Prediction 1: In 2017, SMB IT Spending Will Increase by 3.9% to a Record $557 Billion, with a Continuing Shift from Hardware Toward Software and Solutions
- Prediction 2: Cloud Service Brokering Will Be Key for Midmarket Consumption of Cloud Services, Leading Almost Two-Thirds of Global SMBs to Choose CSB Partners by 2020
- Prediction 3: Midmarket Firms in Developed Regions Will Grow Mobile Investments by Up to 50% in 2017, Prioritizing New Device Rollouts Across Departments to Complement Mobile App Deployments
- Prediction 4: By the End of 2018, 70% of SMBs in Developed Regions Will Have Fully Deployed Paid Subscriptions of Microsoft Windows 10
- Prediction 5: By 2018, Microsoft Office 365 Adoption Will Surpass 50% in SMBs Operating in Developed Countries
- Prediction 6: The Share of SMBs That Have Millennials in Senior Management Positions Will Exceed 50% in 2019
- Prediction 7: By the End of 2019, 70% of Developed Country Midmarket Firms Will Implement Cognitive/AI-Enabled Enterprise Software and Intelligent Assistants
- Prediction 8: IoT Will Level the Playing Field in Manufacturing and Transportation Industries, and by the End of 2018, 60% of SMBs in These Sectors Will Have Adopted at Least One IoT Solution
- Prediction 9: Analytics Deployments Will Grow Among SMBs, and 40% of Developed Country SMBs Will Be Using a BDA Solution in 2018
- Prediction 10: The Developed Country Midmarket IT Budget Share Dedicated to Mobile Projects Will Grow to 30% in 2017
"Forward-looking IT managers and CIOs have already discovered how harnessing cloud IT can create positive IT outcomes in an uncertain time. These attitudes will become table stakes, and IT will need to continue to rearticulate itself as a business driver," says Ray Boggs, Vice President, Small and Medium Business practice, IDC.
Guidance for IT and Business Leaders
To learn how you can apply these predictions to your business, please refer to the guidance outlined for each prediction found in the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide SMB 2017 Predictions (Documenton IDC.com).
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