We continue our weekly SMB Tech Rollup this time with the news that many SMBs are getting worried about IT security, but are happily embracing the cloud.
In addition, Microsoft and Intuit are getting together in the cloud, HP and Cisco could be helping SMBs with new pricing arrangements, and Spigit is focusing on better collaboration tools.
Many SMBs Concerned With IT Security
Nearly finished with the outlooks for 2010, but still one or two more in relation to SMBs worth noting. The latest set of trends is from Forrester Research (news, site) which shows that a large percentage of SMBs will significantly increase their spending on new IT security technologies in 2010.
The findings are contained in two reports: The State Of Enterprise IT Security And Emerging Trends: 2009 To 2010 and The State Of SMB IT Security And Emerging Trends: 2009 to 2010
They show that 37% of SMBs expect to increase investment in security focused technologies. While data security is the largest budget item for IT organizations, the greatest spending increases are in the area of network security, where 40% of enterprises and 36% of SMBs expect to spend more in 2010.
Nearly half of all enterprises (46%) were concerned about smartphones, while 38% were concerned about Web 2.0 technologies. More than 80% -- large and small -- identified managing vulnerabilities and complex threats as a high priority in the coming year.
Forrester's survey of nearly 2,200 enterprise and SMB business executives and technology decision-makers in North America and Europe is part of Forrester's Business Data Services (BDS) series.
And SMBs Are Also Embracing The Cloud
SMBs are becoming more sophisticated in their technology purchases and are buying into solutions like SaaS and managed services, new research from The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) reveals.
The survey of more than 400 SMBs across the United States found that nearly 30% of them plan to implement SaaS solutions in 2010 to lower costs and maintain their competitive edge. That’s up from 22% and 14% respectively in the two prior years.
Thirty percent of SMBs say they intend to implement managed services solutions in 2010. It also showed that 42% of SMBs do not have a formal IT department, relying instead on workers handling IT needs on a part-time basis.
The CompTIA study also indicates SMBs are placing increasing importance on technology solutions that drive revenues and have a direct, positive impact on the customer’s experience. This is reflected in their growing adoption of enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and other such solutions in 2009.
CompTIA’s Third Annual SMB IT Spending Trends study is available at no cost to CompTIA member companies here.
Microsoft And Intuit Integrate Cloud Services
Intuit (news, site) and Microsoft (news, site) have recently announced that they plan to integrate the capabilities of their cloud services platforms and create new opportunities for software developers to deliver and market Web applications to small business customers through the Intuit App Center.
Integrating the Intuit Partner Platform and Microsoft Windows Azure platform will enable developers and channel partners to deliver solutions to the millions of employees within businesses that use QuickBooks financial software.
In addition, the two companies will provide small businesses with Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity applications via the Intuit App Center. Intuit will name Windows Azure as a “preferred platform” for small business cloud application development on the Intuit Partner Platform. The free Windows Azure software development kit (SDK) for Intuit Partner Platform is available today.
Cisco And HP Go Head To Head For SMBs
Cisco Capital has just announced a three-year, zero-percent financing offer for SMBs in the United States for all Cisco products and services from US$ 1,000 up to US$ 250,000.
The zero-percent financing is available for U.S SMBs to help make technology investments in Cisco (news, site) hardware, software and bundled services, and allows qualifying customers lease what they want from Cisco, financed for a 36-month period with no interest, and then own it after that.
The day Cisco announced it, HP (news, site) said that it would be extending its three-year, zero percent financing program for SMBs another quarter, past its end date of January 31. HP's three-year SMB financing program was first announced in January 2009. Like Cisco's program, it covers financing for 36 months at zero percent interest rate.
HP's program, however, extends to US$ 150,000, and doesn't cover services or software it also requires implementations to be 100% HP equipment to qualify.
Spigit Offers SaaS Collaboration For SMBs
California-based Spigit (news, site) has just launched WE by Spigit, a SaaS collaboration platform specifically for SMBs that the company hopes will give their clients a tool to reduce new product’s time to market through easy idea sharing.
WE by Spigit enables up to 500 employees to share, collaborate on and refine ideas in a common innovation space. Visibility within the space is enhanced with tracking mechanisms for top-rated and new ideas, as well as ideas meeting each individual's specific criteria.
It also comes with an analytics engine that shows both the top ideas and top contributors based on 360 degree community feedback, while workflow features ensures that everyone can have their say in regards ideas and projects.
In effect, what it does is to integrate social collaboration with traditional workflow and analytics and expanding companies' sources of innovation and reducing time to implementation for good ideas.