This IDC study presents the results of IDC's updated cluster analysis of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with specific detail on IT spending in general and engagement with cloud and online promotional resources in particular. Five clusters have been identified based on their attitudes toward technology purchases (including interest in expanding cloud resources) and the goals of technology investment. The relative share of hardware, software, and services spending are compared across clusters along with the use of cloud capabilities, both public and private. The use of different online promotional resources is then compared by cluster, including ecommerce and mobile-optimized Web sites. Future cloud spending as a share of total IT spending is then compared by cluster along with different technology spending priorities for the next 12 months, including cloud and online promotion. This document concludes with essential guidance.
"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 new insights about the extent and nature of online resource use." Boggs noted that, while even the most conservative firms are more likely than ever to invest in an online presence and cloud resources, SMB 2.0 firms and SMB 1.5 fast followers continue to lead the way in the use of online resources for promotion and ecommerce.