Mid-sized Companies: Where the IT Action Is

Michael Vizard
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IBM today released a midmarket take on the CIO study it undertakes each year that included two interesting data points. The first is that 83 percent identified analytics and Big Data as their top priority, while the second is a significant increase in all things related to cloud computing.

According to Dan Potter, who heads up product marketing for the IBM Cognos midmarket business unit, these results are indicative of a larger trend where midmarket companies have shifted from defense back to offense in terms of their strategic interests in IT, especially when it comes to business intelligence. That's probably a very good thing because IBM notes that midsize businesses, together with small enterprises, are responsible for nearly 65 percent of the global GDP, representing more than 90 percent of all businesses and employing over 90 percent of the world's work force.

The question that all this brings up is whether the increased interest in IT is simply a general symptom of an economic recovery, or are small- to mid-sized companies investing more in IT to compete against slower moving rivals? Why this matters is because most IT people would rather work for companies that take a strategic interest in how IT is used, as opposed to simply treating IT as yet another cost of doing business.

It's too early to say exactly what is happening here, but historically it's been small- to medium-sized businesses that have led the U.S. out of a recession. And if that's the case, as IT professionals ponder their next career move, just maybe smaller to mid-sized companies are going to be where all the action is.

Obviously, in this economy, most IT people have been happy to hold on to whatever jobs they have. And while the future of the economy continues to be uncertain, it would appear that there is a whole lot more opportunity outside the Fortune 1000 than in it.

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