More than half of
midsize companies are planning to increase their information technology
(IT) budgets over the next 12 to 18 months, according to an IBM global
study of more than 2,000 midsize companies representing more than 20
countries. As a result, these companies are investing in a wide range of
priorities including analytics, cloud computing, collaboration,
mobility and customer relationship solutions.
“Inside the Midmarket: A 2011 Perspective,” commissioned by IBM and conducted independently by KS&R, Inc., found 70% of midsize
companies are actively pursuing analytics technology to better
understand their customers, make better decisions and become more
efficient. The study also shows growing adoption of cloud computing
among midsize firms, with two-thirds either planning or currently
deploying cloud-based technologies to improve IT systems management
while lowering costs.
Other key findings include:
of respondents expect their IT budgets to increase over the next 12 to
18 months, 31% expect they will remain unchanged and 16% think they will
decrease or are unsure.
(63%), customer relationship management (62%) and analytics /
information management (59%) were cited as their “Most Critical IT
- 75% plan to upgrade their core IT systems to improve performance, security and reliability.
expected benefits from cloud computing include cost reduction, better
manageability of IT, improved system redundancy and availability.
achieve their technology objectives, more than 70% plan to pursue a
consultative (IT and business), versus purely transactional relationship
with their primary IT provider.
barriers to IT adoption cited were cost, difficulty in acquiring and
deploying technology solutions, and lack of IT skills and resources.
“The survey findings
show that midsize firms are tackling a new set of opportunities to
advance their role as engines of economic growth,” said Andy Monshaw,
General Manager, IBM Midmarket. “When we spoke to midsize firms 18
months ago, most were focused on reducing costs and improving
efficiencies. Today, the conversation is also about expanding their
business, connecting with customers and gaining greater insights.”
between the current study and those from 2009 also reveal a shift from a
predominant focus on cost control and efficiency to a greater emphasis
on growth initiatives. Today, 21% characterize their strategic mindset
as ‘efficiency and cost control’, with the majority (79%) concentrating
on customers, growth and innovation. In 2009, 53% characterized their
company mindset as one of efficiency and cost control”, with less than
half (47%) focused on growth, innovation and customers. This change is
reflected in the increased adoption of analytics and predictive
technologies that have become more affordable and widely available for
The mindset of midsize firms is now balanced across cost reduction and efficiency, customers, innovation, and growth.
seen a boom in the number of midsize customers within the consumer
products space who want to engage with us around analytics and cloud,”
said Jay Hakami, President and CEO of Sky IT Group, an IBM Business
Partner. “IT departments in midsize markets are adapting very fast to
that fact that they must do much more with less. Companies are looking
to quickly identify tools and efficient ways to support growth and
About the Study
the Midmarket: A 2011 Perspective” was commissioned by IBM and
conducted independently by KS&R, Inc. The survey of 2,112 business
and information technology decision makers at midsize businesses
(100-1000 employees) spanned a variety of industries, including banking,
retail, consumer products, wholesale, transportation, industrial
products, and insurance. Participants hailed from the United States,
Canada, the United Kingdom, the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Norway,
Sweden), Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands,
Spain, Japan, China, Brazil, India, Russia, Australia, Mexico, Korea,
Singapore, South Africa, Poland, New Zealand and the Czech Republic. The
study was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2010 to capture current
and upcoming business and IT priorities and investment direction.