IT managers plan high-tech spending

Survey shows a majority of IT professionals intend to invest in new software, hardware and staff in the coming months.

Spiceworks survey of 1,130 IT managers at small and midsize businesses shows a majority intend to invest budgets dollars in hardware, software and staff in the next six months.

A majority of small and midsize IT managers say despite previously tightening purse strings that they plan to make “significant investments” in new hardware and software over the next six months.

According to a third quarter survey of 1,130 IT professionals at small and medium businesses conducted by Spiceworks, a maker of free IT management software, SMB IT budgets in 2009 average $108,000, a 1% decrease from 2008 budgets. Hardware remains the biggest IT budget item among those surveyed, and a majority of those polled intend to buy new hardware such as laptops, desktops and servers. More than half (51%) of the IT managers polled plan to invest in new software and about one-third expect to invest in IT services. The survey showed that while some IT departments are squeezing more life from their existing hardware – 26% extend the use of their hardware from 40 months to 50 months – others intend to buy new equipment in the coming months.

“Despite using hardware for a longer period of time, 68% of SMBs plan to add new hardware to their networks with the next six months,” the survey report reads. “Among hardware purchasing priorities, 56% plan to buy desktops, 55% plan to purchase laptops, 45% plan on new server purchases, 31% plan to add printers, and 27% plan to add new network devices. Only 13% have their eyes on Netbooks.”

For those planning new software investments, 32% of those queried by Spiceworks intend to buy security and anti-spam solutions, with 35% for those considering cloud-based security and anti-spam offerings. One-quarter of those polled report they will invest in backup and recovery solutions in the next six months. Forty-four percent are using virtualization technology and in the next six months 30% of the SMB IT managers surveyed said they plan to deploy or expand the virtualization technology in their networks.

And lastly, IT departments intend to add staff in the coming months.

“IT hiring among small and medium businesses is poised to grow. While many technology departments are holding staff sizes steady, 22% plan to hire additional full-time or part-time staff, while only 3% plan to further reduce staff over the next six months,” the report reads.

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