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Small and Medium Business Markets: Infrastructure Innovation, Virtualization and Digital Transformation

IDC's Small and Medium Business Markets: Infrastructure Innovation, Virtualization and Digital Transformation is one of four optional research modules supporting IDC's core SMB program. It examines in detail the changing nature of SMB IT infrastructure including networks, servers, and storage. Of particular importance is the growing role of virtualization, which allows SMBs (especially MBs) to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their network investments. Network security is also an important part of infrastructure coverage, with endpoint, email, and web security essential to effective technology deployment. As SMBs implement 3rd Platform technology (cloud, mobile, big data and analytics, and social business) and move forward with the coordination of resources through digital transformation (DX), they will need the latest on-premises internal resources to support new capabilities.

Markets and Subjects Analyzed

  • U.S. and worldwide SMB IT systems/storage spending
  • Local network and server use and acquisition plans
  • Key brand and form factor preferences for servers
  • Hypervisor solutions and level of server virtualization
  • IT security spending: Web, network, email, and endpoint
  • U.S. SMB vertical market profile and technology use
  • Desktop virtualization use and future plans
  • IT infrastructure concerns and basic SMB business demographics
  • Digital transformation progress and expectations

Core Research

  • U.S. SMB Systems/Storage Spending Share of Hardware Spending by Company Size and Industry
  • U.S. Vertical Market Profiles: Key Technology Use and Plans
  • Network and Server Use/Plans: Form Factors and Brand Preferences Including Use of Software-Defined Datacenters
  • Virtualization Trends: Server and Desktop Virtualization
  • SMB Digital Transformation Self-Assessment and Road Map
  • Changing SMB Security Resources
  • SMB Storage Investment: Disk Hardware, Optical Hardware, Tape Hardware, SSDs, Storage Software, Storage Services, and Cloud Storage
  • Use/Plans for Different Disk-Based Storage: Server-Based Disks, NAS, External DAS, SSDs, and SAN
  • Use of Different Technology for Data Backup, Data Protection, and Disaster Recovery
  • Changing U.S. SMB Infrastructure Attitudes

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. How are changing SMB technology and business priorities driving investments in IT infrastructure?
  2. How are managed SPs, communications SPs, and other service providers changing SMB technology sourcing preferences for advanced solutions?
  3. What data backup policies do SMBs have, and what combination of disk, tape, and online resources are SMBs using for backup?
  4. How do SMBs differ by size and industry in implementing on-premises and online network resources?
  5. What network, web, endpoint, and mobile security resources do SMBs use and plan to use? Which SMBs are most interested in "next gen" security, which combines protection, detection, and remediation across platforms?
  6. How are SMBs integrating on-premises and cloud solutions as part of digital transformation initiatives? What are the key on ramps for SMB DX engagement? How do different SMBs vary in the cadence and trajectory of their DX adoption?

Additional Coverage

This service reviews strategies, market positioning, and future direction of several providers in IDC's Small and Medium Business Markets: Infrastructure Innovation, Virtualization and Digital Transformation, including:

virtualization: server, storage, desktop, and hypervisor preferences and servers and network equipment including hybrid cloud solution; cloud storage: cloud data protection (backup), cloud business continuance, cloud archive, and cloud file service; server form factor preferences: desktop, tower/pedestal, rackmount, blade, converged system, server brand preference and brand loyalty, and networked and direct-attached storage; and profile of "virtualization intensive" SMBs: affinity for both desktop and server virtualization, hypervisor preferences, and infrastructure profiles for advanced cloud and mobility SMBs.

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