What Kind of IT Spender Are You?

Do you view technology as an investment in your business growth and health, or as a necessary cost to support business functions? Regular smallbiztechnology.com readers will already know Ramon’s #1 rule for leveraging technology:
Spend money on technology as an investment – not as a cost.
A new study released by Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc. shows that the smallest segment of SMBs – enterprise adopters (Tier 1 SMBs) and early adopters (Tier 2 SMBs) – account for about twice as much spending on IT solutions as the other two SMB tiers combined. These groups view the use of IT solutions as a strategic way to drive growth. Surprisingly, almost half of all SMBs (Tier 4 – “Needs Help Adopters”) implement new technology only to avoid losing customers and suppliers.

AMI-Partners’ proprietary segmentation model categorizes and analyzes SBs and MBs in four distinct tiers, based on IT behavior, adoption, needs and attitudes for customer targeting, product positioning and focused offerings. By viewing SMB IT adoption through this lens, vendors can gain new insights into the buying propensity of each tier for different types of IT solutions and services. The four tiers include:
Tier 1 (Enterprise Adopters) – View IT solutions similarly to large enterprise counterparts. IT is an integrated part of their company strategy and they use IT solutions to drive growth. They account for the smallest proportion of the SMB universe, but they drive the lion’s share of IT spending.
Tier 2 (Early Adopters) – Embrace new IT solutions to optimize productivity, but lack resources needed to deploy full-scale solutions. They tend to opt for less costly options or point solutions. They account for less than one fifth of the total SMBs.
Tier 3 (Value Adopters) – Implement IT solutions after others have done so, with a relentless focus on costs. They need to be educated on the business benefits of IT solutions, and are a pragmatic, economically driven target for IT vendors. They account for slightly more than a quarter of the total SMB universe.
Tier 4 (Needs Help Adopters) – Employ IT solutions only at the threat of losing customers or suppliers. As laggards, they view IT as a support tool for business functions, rather than a growth driver. They comprise almost half of the total SMB universe.

More details and a copy of the full report can be found here.
Laura Leites, Assistant Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com