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Boom Times In SMB IT Spending Ahead

Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will lead the way in IT spending growth in 2004, a research firm announced Tuesday in a just-released report.

According to Forrester Research analyst Meredith Child, the author of a survey which polled over 1,000 technology decision makers in North American SMBs, small and medium business will grow their IT spending by 6.6 percent this year over 2003. Compare that to the anticipated 1.7 percent up tick in IT spending for large companies, said Child, and it's no surprise that vendors are chasing the SMB market.

"Overall, small and medium-sized businesses are more positive about the business climate and more optimistic about where their industries are going," said Child in explaining why SMBs are opening the wallet wider than enterprises.

In particular, SMBs are eager to spend money on hardware -- both servers and PCs -- as well as on more bandwidth. And they're planning on dropping some serious dollars on security.

"Security is definitely hot across the board, but it's even more popular in SMBs than in enterprises," said Child. Three out of every four SMBs executives polled reported that they would invest in new security technology in 2004, compared to just one out of two large companies.

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