IDC forecasts that in 2019 worldwide SMB IT spending will approach $630 billion in 2019, which is $27 billion over 2018 levels. A shift in emphasis from traditional 2nd Platform hardware (PC, server, and network) to 3rd Platform (social, mobile, cloud, and big data) resources and software solutions will continue, something both small businesses (SBs; with fewer than 100 employees) and midsize firms (MBs; with 100–999 employees) should keep in mind as they plan for technology investments next year and beyond.
Effective senior executives, business unit heads, and IT managers in small and midsize businesses worldwide will be looking to harness a wide range of technology to support positive business outcomes in challenging times. While SMBs will always seek the near-term benefits of new technology, the most successful will also invest at the same time to support a long-term vision in keeping with digital transformation.
Top 10 2019 Predictions for SMBs
These are IDC’s top 10 predictions for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in 2019:
- Prediction 1: SMB IT spending worldwide will expand 4.6% in 2019 to total almost $630 billion.
- Prediction 2: By 2021, the integration of on-premises and cloud resources will be a top IT spending priority for half of SMBs — in both developed and developing countries.
- Prediction 3: By 2021, 60% of SMBs worldwide will use alternative channels for technology procurement, including various service providers (SPs) and self-service sources.
- Prediction 4: Innovation accelerators (IA) will have transformed business and production processes in half of SMBs in key verticals by 2022, such as robotics in manufacturing and artificial intelligence (AI) in several industries.
- Prediction 5: By 2023, half of SMBs will respond to the changing nature of the work, leveraging new talent and sourcing models.
- Prediction 6: Half of medium-sized businesses in developed countries will have business analytics in place by the end of 2019, with adoption increasing across all regions.
- Prediction 7: The Internet of Things (IoT) will be used by a third of SMBs in key industries by 2021 to collect and evaluate real-time external and internal data.
- Prediction 8: Two-thirds of SMBs will have digital transformation (DX) as a key part of their IT strategies by the end of 2023.
- Prediction 9: By the end of 2019, the majority of medium-sized businesses in developed countries will have implemented cognitive/AI software.
- Prediction 10: By the end of 2021, 60% of SMBs worldwide will have formal or informal mobile worker support in place.
Learn more about the 2019 SMB Predictions
For context around these predictions, including the IT impact and guidance on how to integrate each prediction in the digital strategy of the enterprise, view the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide SMB 2019 Predictions web conference on-demand.