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IDC Finds SMEs Use the Internet for Information, But the Channel to Purchase

  • 01 September, 2004 14:07

<p>NORTH SYDNEY, 1st September, 2004 – IDC has recently completed its study of the local Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) market titled “Australian SME IT Purchasing Process, 2004.” The study explores who is making the purchasing decisions within Australian SMEs and who is maintaining their IT systems. Additionally, this study looks at where SMEs gather their information on software, hardware and telecommunications products, and which channels they are using to procure them.</p>
<p>Key findings reveal the internet as the number one source of information across almost all technologies, but when it came to purchasing these products, SMEs were using traditional channels such as VARs, specialty stores and retail.</p>
<p>IDC found that most SMEs prefer to purchase their IT products from a single source. They want proven, low-cost products that can be implemented reasonably easily. Understanding a particular SMEs needs and difficulties are key to earning their trust and becoming a long-term partner. Only 37% of SMEs had a dedicated IT manager and 18% outsourced their IT maintenance, leaving the remaining 55% of SMEs without a solely dedicated staff member to maintain their computer systems and keep up-to-date with new technologies.</p>
<p>"There are plenty of vendors out there at the moment trying to target SMEs in the hope it will be their 'Golden Goose'. This results in vast amounts of information inundating SMEs causing confusion about products and technical capabilities,” said Brad Hill, IDC SME Market Analyst.</p>
<p>"When targeting SMEs, their business size and vertical sector need to be considered, combined with a simple straight forward business proposition,“ added Mr Hill.</p>
<p>The penetration of the internet is continuing in Australian SMEs and they are becoming more comfortable with using it, both as a source of information and revenue. Although they are getting product information from the web, they are still going to specialty stores, retail outlets and resellers to make the purchase. This is because they prefer to see the product and even test it before they outlay their money. The IT skills and understanding of the channel are invaluable to these SMEs.</p>
<p>For press enquiries please contact:
Brad Hill
Market Analyst, Small and Medium Enterprises
Email: bhill@idc.com
Phone: 61 2 9925 2228</p>

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