Wall Street Journal (01/26/12) Sarah Needleman
With the use of external information technology support among small businesses growing dramatically, large companies like Apple Inc. and Best Buy Co. are getting into the market, providing new competition to independent consultants who typically handle such needs. U.S. businesses with fewer than 500 employees spent approximately $23.5 billion on IT services in 2011, and are projected to spend $27.2 billion on IT services by 2015, according to the research firm IDC.
Many small businesses and start-ups are reluctant to hire new employees, but spending on technology and IT services can help a company operate more efficiently, or make it possible for an owner who travels to manage his or her business from a remote location. The advent of cloud computing has dramatically increased the options now available to small businesses to include such services as analytics, software customization, disaster recovery, and video conferencing.