Sunday, March 05, 2006

How tech fails medium-sized business

Does the tech industry understand the medium-sized business market? Not according to Dan Mclean, editor-in-chief of, in a story published March 2 in The Globe & Mail.

“When it comes to information technology designed to suit their specific computing needs, mid-sized companies in Canada are on the outside looking in,” Mclean writes.

When businesses with between 100 and 499 employees look for tech solutions, what do they find? “These days they're typically scaled-down versions of large-business IT hardware, software and services, or scaled-up small-business products,” he writes.

The problem, says analyst John Sloan of Info-Tech in London, Ont., is that the IT needs of a mid-sized company can be every bit as complex as those of a much larger firm. But they have fewer people to support and manage it. That means mid-sized firms need products that have big-business function at a small-business price.

According to Sloan, two-thirds of a mid-sized business’s IT spending goes to maintenance and management. Anything that reduces the need for operational support “is likely to get a good hard look by a medium-sized business customer. Gains in efficiency and productivity are golden for customers in the mid-market.”

Medium-sized businesses are big IT spenders. On average, says Mclean, they spend more than $1 million a year on IT.

Lise Dellazizzo, VP of IT for Ipsos Reid Corp., calls medium business "the most significant revenue-generating engine in Canada when it comes to IT spending." Large businesses may spend more per capita, but the mid-sized market has greater volume. Canada has nearly seven times as many mid-sized companies as large companies.

As Mclean concludes, this is a market worth figuring out.

See the original story (until it slips behind the pay curtain) here.

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