IDC: Vendors need to create SMB services

Resellers could soon find themselves helping vendors generate a larger SMB services market as infrastructure sales continue to decline, according to a leading market analyst.

IDC's SMB research director, Jean-Marc Annonier, said small and medium business only contributed 31 per cent of local IT spending despite making up 99.8 per cent of Australian businesses and accounting for 70 per cent of private sector employees.

Figures released recently by the analyst suggest SMBs were still making one-off hardware and software purchases where needed rather than investing in ongoing services.

"Vendors need to start designing services specifically for SMB," Annonier said. "These will have to be delivered in strong partnerships with the channel due to the size of market."

IDC estimated the SMB infrastructure market would decline by a compound of 2.1 per cent during the next five years, which could cause problems for vendors without a services plan. Annonier pointed to software as a service as an opportunity but admitted vendor-driven services were easier to talk about than to design and implement.

"It's very challenging from the vendor side to design an SMB service that's profitable," he said. "SMBs probably don't even know they need certain services so it's going to be a case of a reseller knocking on the door to explain how they can save money."