This IDC study presents the results of IDC's updated cluster analysis of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Five clusters have been identified based on their attitudes toward technology purchases and the goals of technology investment. The clusters are compared by their general business demographics and availability of full-time IT staff. Of particular interest are the sources used by different clusters to obtain advanced technology solutions, with the role of service providers examined in detail.
"The classic way of understanding the SMB market is to look at firms by company size and industry," said Ray Boggs, VP, SMB research at IDC. "But an examination of firms using cluster analysis–based levels of agreement with different attitude statements provides another dimension of understanding about motives and potential opportunities." Boggs noted that differences in business priorities and technology spending priorities make some SMB clusters more interesting than others, but product design, positioning, and distribution should be as inclusionary as possible for maximum impact.