SMBs are expected to cut their IT operating budget by 4 percent and capital budgets by 2 percent to 3 percent, says analysts from Forrester Research in a report dated August 7. Based on a survey of IT officers from enterprises and SMBs in both North America and Europe, it seems that executives are expecting "2009 to be a financially difficult year."
According to eWeek, the report noted that:
"When this 2009 budget survey was fielded between February and May of 2009, SMBs revealed a glum business outlook for 2009: 49 [percent] believed that 2009 would be a somewhat challenging year, with an additional 34 [percent] foreseeing an extremely challenging year."
While I do hope that your small and medium business is not falling on hard times, I have written a number of blogs that should serve to help your SMB save some money and maybe even prune some of your IT-related operating expenses.
For a start, SMBs facing difficulties pegging an accurate cost to their IT services might want to consider leveraging SaaS to better define the cost of providing IT. While I will be the first to admit that SaaS is hardly a remedy to poor budgeting, SaaS when properly used will allow for greater cost granularity relating to actual usage.
One simple way to save some money would be to bring down the utilities bill. And what easier way is there than to reduce your SMB's energy consumption? Reduce your energy use without buying new equipment explores a couple of practical and simple ways to do just that.
While no downturn can possibly be welcome news, it is hardly all gloom and doom. Depending on the competitiveness of your outsourced services, it might actually be possible to turn around and leverage the economic downturn to reduce your costs.
Finally, everyone likes free stuff, and I have compiled a list of the best free desktop software that you can deploy in your SMB, as well as the best free applications suitable for power users. And just in case your SMB is mulling the use of open source software, I have explored some of the areas that you can benefit from the deployment of free or open source software.
If you have any suggestions for SMBs feeling the budgetary squeeze, do feel free to share them here.