Channel technologies, CSPs, Midmarket, Distributed Workforce, Networking

Midmarket IT Spending: 4 Areas Deliver Big Returns


Midmarket companies that invest in cloud, mobile, big data and security technologies enjoy stronger performance than companies that are laggards in those areas, according to the Global Technology Adoption Index (GTAI 2015), a research initiative funded by Dell.

The midmarket IT spending study involved nearly 3,000 employees representing midsize organizations (100 to 4,999 employees) across 11 countries. Global research firm TNS, working on behalf of Dell, managed the research in 2014 and again in 2015.

  • Companies investing in big data experience 50 percent higher growth rates than those that don't.
  • On-premises cloud have 46 percent higher growth rates.
  • Off-premises cloud have 51 percent higher growth rates.
  • BYOD show 53 percent higher growth rates.
  • Mobile applications show 44 percent higher growth rates.

Still, there's room for  debate here, ChannelE2E believes. For instance:

  • Perhaps only the best-performing companies (already outpacing their peers) can afford to currently spend on big data and the other investment areas. In other words, the outperformance of rivals was already present -- even before those midmarket IT spending decisions were made.
  • Plus, I'm curious to know why other key areas like software-defined networking and converged data centers were not covered in the survey findings.

IT's Return on Investment (ROI)

Survey organizers believe there are links between the key technologies, organizational efficiencies and growth goals.

  • For mobility, improved efficiency is the biggest benefit (39 percent). Other efficiency-related benefits include business process improvement (21 percent) and reduction in paperwork (21 percent), the survey results found.
  • For cloud, the top three benefits are also efficiency related, including cost savings (42 percent); getting things done faster (40 percent); and better allocation of IT resources (38 percent); the survey results revealed.
  • For big data, the key benefits include better targeting of marketing efforts (41 percent - one of last year’s top three goals as well); optimization of ad spend (37 percent) and optimization of social media marketing (37 percent).

On the security front, midmarket IT spending reveals the shift from reaction mode to actually implementing security plans, the survey results found.

Limiting Factors

Security remains the biggest barrier to adoption of public clouds (44 percent) and SaaS (38 percent).

For mobility, security concerns are the number one barrier to mobility expansion, but cost is the second biggest barrier, the survey results found, followed by limitations of current IT infrastructure (24 percent); too many IT platforms/operating systems to support (23 percent); and limited technical/resources (23 percent).

A separate mid-2015 report suggested that midmarket IT sales would remain relatively strong this year, with a particular emphasis on cloud computing, automation and data analytics.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.