PC Penetration Among Small Business Shows Largest Gain In Years Reports IDC/LINK

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., March 17, 1998 — Use of personal computers by U.S. small businesses grew from 73 percent in 1996 to 78 percent in 1997, ending several years of flat to modest increases, according to a report recently issued by IDC/LINK.

The research, Targeting the Small Business PC Market, 1997, reveals the increase in use of personal computers in small businesses is tied to:

Lower price points for PCs

The development of easy-to-use software for key business applications such as accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll

The rise of the Internet as an important business tool for small businesses

A new crop of computer-literate small business owners

"The personal computer revolution, at long last, is finally converting the last remaining hold outs in the small business market," said Warren Childs, IDC/LINK's Small Business Research Manager and the report's author. "Due to the cost of technology and a lack of expertise, many of the nation's mom and pop type businesses have resisted using computers. Today, new small business ownersview technology as a necessary part of doing business." Of the nation's 7.3 million small businesses, 5.6 million now use computers.

PC Penetration Among U.S. Small Businesses, 1992-1997

1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997

SBs with PCs (%) 67 69 71 73 73 78

N (total SBs) 935 976 1,000 1,033 1,041 1,011

SBs = Small Businesses

Source: IDC/LINK's U.S. Small Business Survey, 1992 – 1997

The report, Targeting the Small Business PC Market, 1997, is based on IDC/LINK's annual survey of businesses with less than 100 employees. This year's survey included 1,011 interviews with small business decision makers. In addition to PC use, the report covers small businesses' current and planned use of software, printers, peripherals, on-line services, the Internet. Buying behavior and channel usage are also discussed. The report (IDC #B15048) is available for purchase by contacting Janis Dempsey at 508-935-4145.

About IDC

Headquartered in Framingham, Mass., International Data Corporation provides IT market research and consulting to more than 3,900 high-technology customers around the world. With a global network of 375 analysts in more than 40 countries, IDC is the industry's most comprehensive resource on worldwide IT markets, products, vendors, and geographies.

IDC/LINK, an IDC subsidiary, researches and analyzes the home computing market, leading-edge technologies in telecommunications and new media, and the convergence of computing and consumer electronics.

IDC's World Wide Web site (http://www.idc.com) contains additional company information and recent news releases, and offers full-text searching of recent research.

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.