Businesses up technology spending plans: CDW survey


Corporate information technology decision makers were gaining confidence heading into the new year, thanks to rising growth expectations among small and medium size businesses, according to one indicator.

The latest  CDW IT Monitor, a bimonthly indicator tracking the direction and momentum of the U.S. IT marketplace, shows the first increase in six consecutive readings, rising to 73 in December 2010, an increase of one  point from the year-ago period.   During the same period, the small business IT Growth Monitor, which measures IT investment expectations, increased five points from October to hit 54, a record high since December 2007.  

The survey, conducted by Evanston-based E-Rewards and Survey Sampling International, polled 1,056 IT decision makers from two national panels.

Small and medium size businesses IT programs continue to grow

Investing in technology will be key for businesses seeking to grow in an improving economic climate, Thomas E. Richards, president and chief operating officer at CDW, said in a release.

According to the survey, most owners of businesses with fewer than 100 employees were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their IT purchases in the last six months, staying the same from the year-ago period. About half expect to replace or install new hardware in the next six months, up 9 percentage points from the year-ago period. What’s more, 61  percent of  small businesses surveyed said they expected to  replace or installing new software in the next six months.

The survey also found 90 percent of IT decision makers at businesses with 100 to 999 employees plan to replace or install new hardware in the next six months, an increase of 2 percentage points from a year ago.

 New technology doesn’t necessarily mean more staff.

Overall, corporate IT decision makers at businesses of all sizes are slightly more likely to reduce IT staffing in the next six months, the report said. For small and medium size businesses, 4 percent to 5 percent say they plan to reduce staffing, while 12 percent of larger businesses say they plan to make the cuts.

Focusing on the IT refresh cycle and upgrading existing technology clearly is taking immediate precedence with decision makers over increasing IT staffing in the near term, Richards said in the release.

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— Hallie Busta