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Alignment of Business Technology at SMBs

Looking broadly at the small and medium-sized business (SMB) technology market over the next 12–18 months, IDC expects a variety of evolutionary and even revolutionary changes that will drive opportunities on a worldwide and regional basis as broader economic issues complicate spending growth.

Increasing alignment of technology, distribution, and customer will be a key trend throughout 2008.

"A growing number of technology providers will invest time, talent, and money in the worldwide SMB market," said Raymond Boggs, vice president of SMB research at IDC. "Different regions offer different kinds of opportunities, but the concentrated focus on effective messaging, innovative products, and efficient distribution will be at the heart of vendor success across geographies."

Among IDC's key predictions for 2008 are the following:

- Worldwide IT spending growth among SMBs will vary considerably by regions and will reach just over 7 percent in 2008, a slower rate than in 2007.

- Global SMB IT spending increases will still be roughly 2 percent higher than overall IT spending increases on a worldwide basis.

- In North America, SMB IT spending growth will be lower in selected verticals, such as construction, finance, and consumer services.

- Growing SMB use of the Internet in the United States and Canada will encourage greater use of hosted and software-as-a-service solutions.

- In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, a greater SMB focus by technology providers will help drive strong SMB spending growth.

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