SMBs Prefer VARs over Buying Direct for PCsBy Jessica Davis | Print
A new Forrester Research study also found that SMBs plan to increase their IT spending for PCs this year by 7 percent.
More than half of SMBs prefer to buy their PCs
from a VAR or systems integrator rather than direct from the
vendor, and SMBs plan to increase their PC spending this year by 7 percent.
That's according to a new survey from Forrester Research of more than 1,000 small businesses—700 in North America and another 400 from Europe—examining their processes for buying PCs.
Hardware accounted for 26 percent of SMB IT budgets in the past year, and the Forrester survey found that PCs are poised for the biggest year-over-year increase, 7 percent, when compared with other hardware categories, including servers, networks, storage, systems management and mobility.
"Driving the next four years' spending increases will be the much-delayed rolling refresh cycles that are brought on by the upgrade to Windows Vista," Benjamin Gray, an analyst at Forrester Research, wrote in his report, "The PC Purchase Process for SMBs."
Another trend under way within SMBs is the shift from desktops to laptops. The ratio at these companies today sits at about 70 percent desktops to 30 percent laptops. But "employees are demanding more flexibility, prices have dropped, and IT wants its users to have access to data and applications regardless of their physical location," Gray wrote. "The higher margins that laptops and newer mobile form factors provide should help sustain revenues as more and more SMBs embrace the shift toward increased mobility."
The survey also found that these businesses value quality over price and rely heavily on their IT peers when choosing a vendor.