Report: SMBs Ready To Start Spending Big On PCs

More than the three-quarters of the 250 U.S.-based SMBs surveyed between March 29 and April 30 for the research firm’s SMB Technology Report said they plan to spend the same or more on new PCs in 2010 as they did the previous year. Just 23 percent of organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees said they would be reducing their spending on PCs this year.

A strong driver for SMBs planning to purchase new desktop and notebook PCs was a perception of growth potential in a revitalized economy, according to NPD. Slightly more than half of respondents cited “new growth opportunities” as a reason for buying PCs, while 41 percent said they were purchasing computers to support new employees.

Where companies sourced their new PCs was largely dependent on their size, according to the research firm. Some 41 percent of PCs are purchased directly from manufacturers by SMBs regardless of their size, but the majority of the remainder are bought at retail or through e-commerce channels by very small companies, while firms with more than 50 employees buy 40 percent of their computers from VARs.

Interestingly, SMBs appeared poised to reduce spending on non-PC computer hardware, according to NPD.

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“On average, firms plan to spend about 32 percent less this year than in 2009 on other hardware categories such as storage, networking, servers and printers,” the research firm said in a statement.

One bright spot in the non-PC categories was storage. More SMBs -- 37 percent -- said they planned to increase spending on storage equipment than the 32 percent who said they would be spending more on PCs.

While the combination of steady and increased SMB spending on PCs in 2010 made them the strongest overall hardware category identified in the report, struggling firms were also twice as likely on average to reduce spending on PCs as they were on other computing equipment, the research firm said.