SMB Internet Use: Increasing and Decreasing Says IDC

Technology Research Firm IDC has released a study showcasing that increasing Internet use gives opportunities for technology providers.
The changing ways that small businesses are using the Internet point to new opportunities for technology suppliers. According to a new study from IDC, Internet penetration is up and the share of small firms with Web sites has grown dramatically. As the Internet becomes more integral to small business operations, more advanced capabilities such as tracking site performance and providing access to more comprehensive resources for visitors will be of interest to those looking to the Internet for support of a wide range of business activities.
“The Internet has become a critical communications and promotional resource for the largest share of small businesses, changing the way they reach customers and prospects,” said Raymond Boggs, vice president, Small/Medium Business research at IDC. “Small business spending on Web hosting alone is growing by 9.5% annually and will top $7.4 billion by 2009.”
Among key findings discussed in this study are the following:
* Internet access will become more widespread and roughly 80% of all small businesses will have Internet access by the end of 2009
* Internet use for promotional purposes will continue to increase and five out of six online small businesses will have a home page by 2009
* Online selling, while increasingly easy to implement, will remain relatively rare and only a quarter of small businesses will use ecommerce by the end of the planning period