By the DynaSis Team
Two major IT research firms―Gartner, Inc. and Forrester Research―have announced their 2014 IT spending forecasts, and they indicate some interesting patterns that we believe small and medium businesses (SMBs) should consider. Forrester predicts worldwide technology spending will grow 6.2 percent to $2.2 trillion in 2014. More cautious, Gartner Worldwide’s IT spending forecast estimates that international IT spending will expand 3.1%, reaching $3.8 trillion.
Most interestingly, perhaps, Gartner attributes its more conservative figures to various cutbacks that are directly related to the explosive growth of new technologies, including cloud computing and mobile devices. Despite differences in their overall IT spending forecasts, both firms see bright prospects for SMB expenditure on cloud computing and office mobility products this year.
So what does this mean for your company? If you’re like 66% of SMBs (per a recent survey by Spiceworks), it means you are either using cloud-based solutions or are planning to implement them in the first half of this year. SMBs that adopt cloud services cite cost savings, low maintenance and convenience as factors in their decision to replace old servers with cloud servers. Firms with smaller IT staffs find cloud-based services especially practical due to the minimal configuration and maintenance they require.
Mobile devices, which will account for another large share of projected IT spending in 2014, will also create tangible value for an increasing number of SMBs. Gartner projects spending on devices such as mobile phones, tablets and PCs to rise 4.3 percent to $697 billion worldwide in the coming year.
We’ve talked about mobility―and BYOD (bring your own device)―in this blog before, but we recently came across some new insights we found interesting. In addition to increasing employee productivity, employee mobility also improves customer response time for some 66% of businesses. Furthermore, a recent Dell Software study found that employee mobility and BYOD also leads to greater creativity, more innovation and more productive office collaborations.
Still, two thirds of the survey’s respondents stipulated that the benefits of mobile devices were limited unless the company made sure those devices fulfilled the needs of each user. In other words, comprehensive evaluation of devices and their feature sets, as well as effective planning and implementation of corporate-data-access mechanisms, will bring companies the most value from their mobile device investments.
If you’ve allocated more budget for cloud or mobile solutions in 2014 but are not 100% certain of your roadmap for those expenditures, the virtual CIOS at DynaSis would be happy to help you explore the possibilities. With proper program execution and device management and security, cloud services and mobile solutions can absolutely provide your business with a competitive edge. To start a discussion about how to achieve these goals cost-effectively and with minimal technical complexity, fill out our inquiry form or give us a call.