IDC Advises IT Vendors Not to Overlook the Middle Market

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JULY 25, 2000 — IDC has a message to IT vendors: Don't ignore the middle market. According to the market research firm, the middle market – made up of companies with 100-999 employees – represents a golden opportunity. In 1999, the U.S. middle market was 89,800 companies strong, and each spent an average of $765,400 annually on IT products and services. This means that cumulatively, U.S. companies with 100- 999 employees spent approximately $70 billion on IT in 1999.


"U.S. middle market companies are often overlooked as an important IT market amidst the well-recognized names of Fortune 1000 corporations and the vast numbers of small businesses," said Merle Sandler, a senior analyst with IDC. "However, middle market companies exist in large numbers, and they yield weighty IS budgets, making them an important part of the U.S. IT market." According to IDC, what is even more important than the amount the middle market spent on IT products and services is how much that amount increased from the year before – a solid 20.3%. IDC sees no signs of the growth letting up either as these firms embrace the Internet and ebusiness initiatives and look for innovative use of IT to give them a competitive advantage.

IDC research indicates the Internet is a highly regarded tool at middle market companies. Nearly 96% of them had Internet access in 1999. "The extent of Internet access at these companies will continue to increase. More employees and more PCs will get access," Sandler said. "Their use of the Internet is rapidly expanding beyond email and information gathering to procurement, project management, and customer support."

Further demonstrating how important the Internet is to these firms is the fact that more than 73% of them have home pages. Of those who don't have a home page, two-thirds plan to create them. Approximately 20% of middle market companies' home pages support a sales function. IDC expects this number to increase dramatically in a very short time frame.

"Selling online has become a critical element in the distribution strategies of companies from all size categories," Sandler said.

Information like the above can be found in IDC's new special report The U.S. Middle Market: IT Infrastructure, Spending, and Internet Usage. This report examines IT usage of companies with 100-999 employees. It discusses current and planned use of IT, the purchase decision process, information systems, and the role the Internet plays at these companies. Specifically, the report looks at Internet access, home pages, intranets/extranets, collaborative applications, knowledge management, data warehousing/data marts, local area networks, end-user systems, and PC acquisition plans. External spending is also broken down. To purchase this report, please contact Patrick Steeves a 1-800-343-4952, extension 6787.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

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