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Small and Medium Business Markets

IDC's Small and Medium Business Markets program provides an overview of key business and IT trends in small and midsize businesses (SMBs) across the United States, supplemented with additional details from select global peer groups for comparison purposes. This program's rich survey work and forecasts provide rich business and technology insights, identifying and guiding SMB success in today's rapidly changing business environment. Key to these segment insights are the use of IDC's advanced segmentation factors including business and technology personas, investment priorities, industry verticals, and digital transformation (DX) attitudes and maturity. IDC's Small and Medium Business Markets program provides benchmarks and practical guidance on business goals, objectives, and outcomes including acquiring new customers, controlling costs, and increasing operating productivity. This program provides expert understanding of SMB technology procurement processes and benchmarks across key technology categories including security, mobility strategies, cloud adoption, business applications adoption, and infrastructure innovation. SMBs are also seeing both the inherent opportunities, values, and threats from DX. IDC's SMB program aligns and leverages our Worldwide Digital Transformation Strategies' thought leadership, models, and methods where appropriate as part of the advanced segmentation insights. This program benchmarks the maturity of enterprise transformation efforts, identifies organizational impact, provides guidance on building new capabilities, and helps prioritize investment options that fit into the daily operating realities of both small and midsize businesses.

Markets and Subjects Analyzed

  • Key SMB advanced segmentation factors and critical concerns
  • DX business impact and maturity by vertical and size segment
  • SMB U.S. technology spending update including regional comparisons
  • SMB cloud computing and software-as-a-service use/plans
  • Networks, servers, storage, virtualization, and UC capabilities
  • Online promotion and ecommerce, including mobile optimization
  • Enterprise software and key business applications (CRM, ERP, analytics), including deployment method and mobile access
  • IT services, including remote/hosting services, networking services, application services, infrastructure services, and BPO
  • Device/peripheral trends, including changing use of tablets, smartphones, notebook PCs, printers, and related BYOD practices
  • Purchase process (channel preferences and information sources)

Core Research

  • U.S. SMB IT Spending Forecasts, 2019–2023
  • U.S SMB Business and Technology Personas
  • U.S. SMB Digital Transformation Guidance — Finding Balance for Growing Businesses
  • Changing Channel Preferences for IT Solutions — The Growing Importance of Online Sourcing
  • SMB Use of Different IT Services and IT Support Solutions
  • SMB Information Sources and the Changing Role of Social Media
  • How SMBs Get the Word Out — Promotional Resources Used
  • U.S. and Worldwide Mobile Worker Forecast
  • SMB Changing and Increasing Interest in BI and Analytics
  • Business Priorities and Technology Spending Priorities
  • Cluster Analysis: Opportunities by U.S. SMB Attitude Segments

In addition to the insight provided in this service, IDC may conduct research on specific topics or emerging market segments via research offerings that require additional IDC funding and client investment.

Key Questions Answered

  1. What advanced SMB attributes/demographics are key to better buyer personas when used with employee sizes and revenue?
  2. What impact is DX maturity having on business success in the SMB, as well as which verticals and regions are tying innovation funding to DX success?
  3. How are changing SMB technology and business priorities driving changes in hardware, software, and services spending, as well as the deployment method?
  4. How are channel preferences changing SMB technology sourcing preferences and the role of service providers, and how are SMBs researching technology investments?
  5. How are SMBs relying on different support solutions, including full-time IT staff, to manage their diverse IT environments?
  6. What tech/online sources do SMBs use for sales and marketing?
  7. How fast is the SMB market growing worldwide by company size category, by technology category, and by region?

Additional Coverage

Advanced business resources: ERP, CRM, and sales force automation (SFA); notebook PCs, smartphones, and tablets as part of mobile worker enablement; desktop PC and workstation ownership and purchase plans; and critical current and planned internet/online promotion resources.

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Meet the Experts
Shari Lava

Research Director, SMB