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Managed vs. Unmanaged IT: A key target audience for marketers

Formally Managed SBs in North America will spend over $12 billion on hosted solutions in 2013, says AMI

PRESS RELEASE: New York, NY (11/20/2013) – Among the almost 23 million small businesses (SBs, companies with fewer than 100 employees) across eight leading countries (U.S., Canada, France, Germany, U.K., Russia, China and India), over five million are “Formally Managed,” meaning they employ at least one full-time, dedicated IT staff member. Formally Managed SBs comprise a key market sector, spending an average of $28K annually on IT and telecommunications. The “Formally Managed” firms account for approximately 22% of all small businesses, but are responsible for almost 40% of IT-related spending. These findings are among the highlights of AMI’s recently published 2013 Managed vs. Unmanaged Small Businesses: Market Assessment and Overview.

Small businesses manage their IT infrastructure in a variety of ways, depending on the size and type of firm, as well as the utility and complexity of their systems. This report looks at how SBs purchase and maintain the IT used to run their businesses, and the implications for IT vendors, service providers and marketers. AMI segments small businesses into four categories: Formally Managed firms with at least one full-time, dedicated IT professional on staff; Partner Managed firms who rely on external IT consultants; Informally Managed firms with either part-time IT staff, or non-technical, full-time company employees who manage IT on a part-time basis, in addition to their main job responsibilities; and Unmanaged firms where no one is managing IT at all.

Formally Managed firms represent an important target audience for IT marketers as they typically use a wider variety of technology solutions when compared to their Unmanaged counterparts. Formally Managed SBs are significantly more concerned with IT purchase processes and the role of IT within their organization. While both Formally Managed and Unmanaged SBs are equally inclined to purchase known brands and feel strongly that scalability is key, there are major differences. Formally Managed firms will more likely require that IT purchases fit with their business strategy. In addition, the IT provider’s vertical expertise influences these SBs’ decision making. Formally Managed SBs tend to calculate the total cost of operating/deploying IT before a purchase, and they are overwhelmingly more inclined to buy cutting edge technology.

“Formally Managed SBs tend to have higher adoption rates across all types of IT products and services than their Unmanaged cousins,” stated Eileen Zimbler, Vice President at AMI New York. “These more sophisticated firms are also much more likely to deploy advanced IT solutions such as servers, ERP, BI/analytics software, document collaboration, and back-up/recovery software. Unmanaged firms tend to deploy more basic IT infrastructure solutions such as desktops, notebooks, broadband, web sites, as well as basic security solutions such as firewalls and anti-virus solutions,” Zimbler continued.

Formally Managed SBs are also much more likely to deploy cloud-based solutions than Unmanaged firms. Of the approximately $31 billion U.S. SBs will spend on hosted services in 2013, Formally Managed firms will account for almost 40%, while Unmanaged firms represent less than 10% of expenditures. Four in ten Formally Managed firms report they are likely to allocate a larger portion of their upcoming IT budgets to cloud services, versus only 14% of Unmanaged SBs. 

Related Study

AMI’s recently published 2013 Managed vs. Unmanaged Small Businesses: Market Assessment and Overview study focuses on eight leading countries (U.S., Canada, France, Germany, U.K., Russia, China and India). It utilizes AMI’s country-based primary market research as well as its Global Market Sizing Model to provide each segment’s share of the SB universe, and also the proportion of total IT spending accounted for by each group.

This report also delves deeply into the North America SB market, focusing specifically on two segments — Formally Managed and Unmanaged. This drill down includes further comparative analysis of firmographics, buying behaviors, technology penetration and usage, cloud services adoption and interest, and channels.

For more information about this study, AMI-Partners, or our global SMB research, call 212 944 5100, e-mail ask_ami@ami-partners.com or visit our web site at www.ami-partners.com

About Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.

AMI-Partners specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital, and actionable market intelligence — with a strong focus on global small and medium business (SMB) enterprises, extending into large enterprises and home-based businesses. The AMI-Partners mission is to empower clients for success with the highest quality data, business strategy perspectives and go-to-market solutions. Led by Andy Bose, the firm has built a world-class management team with deep experience cutting across IT, telecommunications and business services sectors in established and emerging markets.

AMI-Partners has helped shape the go-to-market SMB strategies of more than 150 leading IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services companies over the last seventeen years. The firm is well known for its IT and Internet adoption-based segmentation of the SMB markets, its annual retainership services based on global SMB tracking surveys in more than 25 countries, and its proprietary database of SMBs and SMB channel partners in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey-based information from several thousand SMBs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SMB trends and analysis.

Media Contacts:

Quoted Analyst:   Eileen Zimbler. Phone: (212) 944 5100 ext 550. Email: ezimbler@ami-partners.com

Media Relations:   In US (New York): Nancy Carty. Phone: (212) 944 5100 ext 581. Email: ncarty@ami-partners.com

In EU (London): Hugh Gibbs. Phone: (44) 7899 757417. Email: hgibbs@ami-partners.com

In Asia Pacific (Singapore): Abhilash Pillai. Phone: (65) 6521 3787. Email: apillai@ami-partners.com

In India (Bangalore): Rati Ghose. Phone: (91) 80 4148 2661 ext 33. Email: rghose@ami-partners.com

In India (Kolkata): Jyoti Singh. Phone: (91) 33 4003 3093 ext 223. Email: jsingh@ami-partners.com

In India (Mumbai): Neha Jalan Goenka. Phone: (91) 99300 20420. Email: njalan@ami-partners.com