The survey found 64 percent of SMBs surveyed are currently using virtualization, and while cloud computing adoption has slowed, 14 percent of SMBs are planning to adopt cloud services in the next six months.
Tablets are also a key investment area for SMBs: In the last six months, SMB use of tablets has increased to 45 percent from 33 percent. Another 17 percent of respondents said they plan to purchase a tablet in the next six months.
Overall, IT budgets continue to grow, although survey results suggest a gradual migration from hardware spending to IT services spending — great news for VARs looking to improve their profit margins with add-on services such as data monitoring or network security. An average of 26 percent of the 2012 budget would go toward IT services, which 31 percent of respondents said would be earmarked specifically for renewals.
And regardless of whether IT managers like it, it looks as though bring your own device (BYOD) is here to stay: three-quarters of respondents said they are currently managing personal devices for employees, while 20 percent of IT pros fully embrace BYOD and another 35 percent believe it works well for some devices.
The overall report shows a rosy, if swiftly changing portrait of IT budgeting priorities in small businesses — better make the most of the opportunities. You know you really want an iPad, anyway.