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Canadian SMBs to spend US$17B on IT next year: AMI-Partners

Small and medium businesses (1-999 employees) in Canada are on track to spend up to US$17.1 billion on beefing up t...

July 17, 2006  

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Small and medium businesses (1-999 employees) in Canada are on track to spend up to US$17.1 billion on beefing up their IT infrastructure and applications by end-2007, up 8.14% over 2006.

Of that, 30% will be devoted to IT services such as consulting, software support, IT management, computing and network support, and 22% will be spent on hardware purchases, including PCs, servers, printers, and peripherals, says the latest study from Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.

The study reveals that Canadian-based SMBs continue to grow in their IT budget and enhancing data security and deploying in-house or hosted data backup and disaster recovery remain priority issues for many SMBs.

Key drivers include improvement in Canada’s economy, and SMBs’ desire to gain a competitive business edge via effective deployment of IT solutions.

Some of the top priorities for Canada SMBs this year include implementing data backup and disaster recovery solutions, enhancing data security and privacy by deploying virtual private networks (VPNs), and interconnecting branch offices and customer locations using extranets and wide area networking (WAN).

“Security is a pertinent issue for businesses around the world and Canadian SMBs are no exception,” says Yedda Chew, New York-based Research Analyst at AMI-Partners. “With Canada’s increasing Internet usage and high-speed access, security is a lucrative and expanding market.”

AMI-Partners estimates that Canada SMBs will invest US$429million this year on security-related products and services — such as anti-virus and anti-spam software, intrusion detection programs, and firewalls — up some 22% from last year.

About 66% of small businesses (SBs) and almost 100% of Canada medium-sized businesses (MBs) have installed anti-virus protection, and 94% of SBs are using network-based firewalls.

“From 2005, SBs (1-99 employees) more than doubled their spending on IT security,” Chew says. “And MBs (100-999 employees) tripled their IT security spending. Overall, SMBs also invested more in data storage, business continuity and disaster recovery solutions this year.”