Just before the global recession hit at the end of 2008, Microsoft commissioned worldwide research into what small businesses think of IT, how they get it, what value they place on it and how IT could help them to compete more effectively with bigger businesses. We had a lot of requests for the original research report and you can download it below. We are just finalising an even bigger research study of 15 countries worldwide and over 3,000 business decision makers from small and medium businesses to track their attitudes towards IT, what it can enable for their businesses, their awareness of what is available to them and what is attracting them to try out new services.

What we heard loud and clear last time was that bigger businesses have a distinct advantage with access to IT, 79% of the small businesses we surveyed told us this. When we reveal the results of the 2010 survey, you'll see how IT appears to be even more critical now and how the majority of companies see access to IT as a huge competitive advantage.

Interestingly, this growth in the value of IT appears to go hand-in-hand with the increase in awareness of what's possible. 2009 saw many changes from the pressures of the global recession on how businesses operate and the hype versus reality of what IT can deliver. Small and medium size organisations in particular were in the spotlight as they struggled to get to grips with these challenges.

In the forthcoming research report, we'll address topics such as what 2010 will hold in store for how businesses use IT; if 2010 will see a maturing of IT delivery and enable SMEs to prepare for an upturn and the reality vs. hype of what cloud computing and software+services can actually deliver today. We will post more about the research when we have the final report but, in the meantime, we'd love to hear your views on the industry and what 2010 has in store.

Microsoft Small Business IT Study October 2008 - GLOBAL.pdf (272.62 kb)