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Jan 05, 2011

Small Business IT Investment Picture Continues to Rebound

Small Business IT Investment Picture Continues to Rebound
  • Hardware outlook: Almost half of IT decision makers at small businesses (49 percent) and nine out of ten at medium size businesses (90 percent) anticipate replacing or installing new hardware in the next six months—up ten percentage points since October 2010.
  • Software outlook: Sixty-one percent of IT decision makers at small businesses anticipate replacing or installing new software in the next six months.
  • The small business IT Growth Monitor, which measures IT investment expectations, increased five points from October to 54, a record high since December 2007.
  • VERNON HILLS, Ill. – January 5, 2011 – The budding recovery in IT investment that started to take shape in 2010 appears to be heading for an uptick in 2011 as small businesses report a positive outlook on IT investment for their organizations.

    According to the latest CDW IT Monitor, which has been tracking IT sentiment since the beginning of the recession in 2007, 49 percent of IT decision makers at small businesses expect to replace or install new hardware in the next six months, up 10 percentage points from the October IT Monitor. The robust confidence level among small businesses is echoed in the medium business segment. Ninety percent of IT decision makers at medium size businesses expect to purchase new hardware in the next six months, also up 10 percentage points since October 2010.

    Rising growth expectations among small and medium size businesses are influencing sentiment across the entire corporate sector, despite a leveling-off in the large business sector, which showed greater optimism earlier in 2010. Three quarters or more of overall corporate IT decision makers anticipate replacing or installing hardware (75 percent) or software (78 percent) in the next six months—a record high in the corporate sector since the launch of the IT Monitor in December 2007.

    Unfortunately, the outlook for IT staffing is not keeping pace with investment expectations. Eight percent of corporate IT decision makers expect to cut IT staff in the next six months, up three percentage points from October 2010.

    “As the economic climate improves, investing in technology will be critical for organizations seeking to increase productivity,” said Thomas E. Richards, president and COO, CDW. “Focusing on the IT refresh cycle and upgrading existing technology clearly is taking immediate precedence with decision makers over increasing IT staffing in the near term.”

    In terms of government sentiment, the optimism among corporate IT decision makers is not as strong in the public sector. The IT Growth Monitor, which measures anticipated IT investment, fell four points in the federal government sector to 69, the lowest reading of 2010. For more information about the sentiment of IT decision makers, please visit

    Additional findings from the CDW IT Monitor:

    Outlook Among IT Decision-Makers in the Corporate Sector*
    Growth Monitor New Software New Hardware
    Overall 69(↑2pts) 78%(↑5pts) 75%(↑7pts)
    Small 54(↑5pts) 61%(↑12pts) 49%(↑10pts)
    Medium 77(↑3pts) 88%(↑7pts) 90%(↑10pts)
    Large 76(↓3pts) 88%(↓1pt) 88%(↑1pt)

    *Changes up or down are comparisons to the October 2010 IT Monitor


    About the CDW IT Monitor
    The CDW IT Monitor was created by CDW, and research and analysis is conducted by independent polling firm Richard Day Research of Evanston, Ill. Decision makers are invited from two large national panels of IT decision makers built and maintained by E-Rewards and Survey Sampling International. Data reported in this release are based on a survey of 1,056 IT decision makers conducted between November 30 and December 6, 2010.

    At the center of the CDW IT Monitor is an index number, which registered an initial benchmark reading of 69 in December 2007. Results are calculated on a scale of 0-100, with 100 indicating the highest level of confidence. Future readings of the CDW IT Monitor will continue to yield comparisons to previous scores, allowing for an interpretation of the direction of sentiment in the IT marketplace.

    Data are weighted to ensure that CDW IT Monitor calculations closely represent the overall population of corporate and government employers in terms of size, based on the number of employees. Corporate data are weighted according to U.S. Economic Census data, and government data are weighted according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual survey of government employment. The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately ±4 percentage points for the business sector, and ±6 percentage points for government.

    About CDW
    CDW is a leading provider of technology solutions for business, government, education and healthcare. Ranked No. 38 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies, CDW features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company’s technology specialists offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its advanced technology engineers assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. Areas of focus include notebooks, desktops, printers, servers and storage, unified communications, security, wireless, power and cooling, networking, software licensing and mobility solutions. CDW was founded in 1984 and employs more than 6,200 coworkers. In 2009, the company generated sales of approximately $7.2 billion. For more information, visit