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When It Comes To IT Purchasing, Small Does Matter

Despite all the email I keep getting telling me how great it is to get bigger, I'm now a believer that small matters, especially when it comes to IT operations.

As today's report from our Small Biz Pipeline
shows, IT purchasers from small companies say they are ready to increase their spending this year. While the sample size isn't scientific, it does provide a good pulse-reading of the small-biz market, an economic group whose habits are hard to quantify partly because there are so many hard-to-find players in so many different vertical segments.

Tech journalists, myself included, often fall into the enterprise-matters-most trap when it comes to reporting trends or best practices. The justification for doing so is partly based on the fact that bigger firms can better afford to blaze new technological paths, and thereby provide lessons for others wanting to follow. But another reason big enterprises get a lot of play is the simple fact that their payroll can support forward-thinking strategists who have time to talk to the press.

In smaller operations, IT professionals are often too busy to pontificate, or their story is so targeted to their market niche that it may not appeal to a wider IT audience. And when it comes to computer-purchasing headlines, size does matter. You're not going to get a lot of attention for a story that says "Auto Repair Shop Decides To Replace Its Single Pentium Server."

But those single-server sales do add up, and when you consider stats like the one from the Small Business Administration
(which says that 50 percent of this country's workers are employed by small businesses) you start to think that maybe when receipts are totaled, small purchases could add up to something big. That's why we'll keep a close eye on the small-biz market, to make sure we don't miss the bigger story.