IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

SMBs Focusing on Strategic Goals

CompTIA’s tech buying trends survey finds SMBs with a generally positive outlook and plans to invest. By Colleen Frye

DESPITE THE UNCERTAINTY of the economy and lingering impact of the global pandemic, small and medium businesses have a generally positive outlook going into 2023 and are planning tech investments to advance their strategic goals, according to CompTIA’s SMB Tech Buying Trends survey of 650 U.S. companies with fewer than 250 employees. Notably, 62% of respondents identify technology as a primary factor in reaching their goals, with 31% saying it’s a secondary factor.

Hiring skilled workers is cited as a top objective by 39% of respondents, up from 25% in 2021. Similarly, 38% of SMBs seek to innovate and implement new ideas and innovations, compared to 26% last year. Other key objectives include implementing new efficiencies, identifying new segments/markets, successfully launching new products and services, and renewing/maintaining key customer accounts.

Source: CompTIA, SMB Tech Buying Trends Survey

Accordingly, the research finds that SMBs plan to increase tech spending in a few key areas. Twenty-eight percent plan to invest in innovations, up from 19% last year, and 16% plan to hire more staff, which is up from 13%. In addition, 11% plan to increase spending on training/certification of staff, up from 5% in 2021. At the same time, SMBs plan to reduce spending on upgrades to staff hardware; videoconferencing and collaboration tools; and website, e-commerce, and mobile solutions.

When asked about the health of their business, 51% say they are holding steady, up from 48% in 2021, and 30% report that they are thriving, an increase from 22% last year.

While there are concerns about continued inflation, a possible recession, supply chain and other logistics issues, and difficulty finding skilled workers, 53% of SMBs are very or somewhat optimistic about prospects for their industry over the next 12 months, and 60% are equally optimistic about their specific organization. Moreover, fewer than half (45%) of respondents say world events have had a somewhat negative or very negative impact on profitability, while 22% report no impact and another 33% say the impact has been somewhat positive or very positive.

Currently, just over half (51%) of the SMBs surveyed are utilizing a managed IT services provider. With 35% considering engaging with an MSP, there’s some fertile ground ahead.

Image: iStock

About the Author

Colleen Frye's picture

Colleen Frye is ChannelPro's managing editor.

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