IDC’s Top SMB Predictions for 2008: Evolutionary and Revolutionary Changes Ahead, Including Increasing Alignment of Technology, Distribution, and Customer

FRAMINGHAM, MA – February 4, 2008 – Looking broadly at the small and medium-sized business (SMB) technology market over the next 12–18 months, IDC expects a variety of evolutionary and even revolutionary changes that will drive opportunities on a worldwide and regional basis as broader economic issues complicate spending growth. Increasing alignment of technology, distribution, and customer will be a key trend throughout 2008.

"A growing number of technology providers will invest time, talent, and money in the worldwide SMB market," said Raymond Boggs, vice president of SMB research at IDC. "Different regions offer different kinds of opportunities, but the concentrated focus on effective messaging, innovative products, and efficient distribution will be at the heart of vendor success across geographies."

Among IDC's key predictions for 2008 are the following:

* Worldwide IT spending growth among SMBs will vary considerably by regions and will reach just over 7% in 2008, a slower rate than in 2007.

* Global SMB IT spending increases will still be roughly 2% higher than overall IT spending increases on a worldwide basis.

* In North America, SMB IT spending growth will be lower in selected verticals, such as construction, finance, and consumer services.

* Growing SMB use of the Internet in the United States and Canada will encourage greater use of hosted and software-as-a-service solutions.

* In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, a greater SMB focus by technology providers will help drive strong SMB spending growth.

IDC's study, Worldwide SMB 2008 Top 10 Predictions: Increasing Alignment of Technology, Distribution, and Customer (Doc # 210411), examines the market forces that will shape the SMB market in 2008 at the global and regional level.

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About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 900 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 90 countries worldwide. For more than 43 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting .

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