72% of UK medium-sized firms are actively pursuing analytics to improve decision making and operational efficiency; 70% are adopting Cloud technologies

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LONDON, UK - 11 Mar 2011: More than half of midsize companies are planning to increase their information technology (IT) budgets over the next 12 to 18 months, according to an IBM global study of more than 2,000 midsize companies. The companies surveyed each employ between 100-1000 employees and represent more than 20 countries. These companies are investing in a wide range of priorities including analytics, cloud computing, collaboration, mobility and customer relationship solutions.

"Inside the Midmarket: A 2011 Perspective," commissioned by IBM and conducted independently by KS&R, Inc, found growing adoption of cloud computing among medium-sized firms, with more than two-thirds either planning or currently deploying cloud-based technologies to improve IT systems management while lowering costs.  The study also shows 72% of UK medium-sized  companies are actively pursuing analytics technology to better understand their customers, make better business decisions and become more efficient.

Of the 100 UK respondents:

Miles Templeman, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD) said: “This survey suggests that while operational cost reduction remains a major priority for midmarket firms, many are now looking to increase business investment in key areas such as their IT infrastructure. This change in mindset suggests that companies are beginning to think more about the path to growth and less about recessionary pressures.”

“Cloud computing delivers many tangible benefits, including eliminating initial capital expenses for IT systems as well as increasing CPU efficiency and reducing energy consumption; benefits particularly important to midmarket customers given tight economic conditions,” said Andy Rigby, managing director EMEA, Virtustream, an IBM Business Partner. “As such, we’ve seen a steady increase in interest from midsize companies who are looking for trusted technology partners that can address and eliminate many of the obstacles of widespread cloud computing adoption, such as security and availability concerns.”

Comparisons between the current study and those from 2009 also reveal a shift from a predominant focus on cost control and efficiency to a greater emphasis on growth initiatives. In 2009, 47% characterised their company mindset as one of efficiency and cost control". Today, 19% characterise their strategic mindset as 'efficiency and cost control', with the majority, 81%, concentrating on customers, growth and innovation. This change is reflected in the increased adoption of analytics and predictive technologies that have become more affordable and widely available for medium-sized companies

"The survey findings show that medium-sized companies are tackling a new set of opportunities to advance their role as engines of economic growth," said Lubomir Cheytanov, Midmarket Business Leader, IBM UK & Ireland. "When we surveyed medium-sized firms 18 months ago, most were focused on reducing costs and improving efficiencies. Today, the conversation is also about expanding their business, connecting with customers and gaining greater insights."

About the study:
"Inside the Midmarket: A 2011 Perspective" was commissioned by commissioned by IBM and conducted independently by KS&R, Inc.  The survey of 2,112 business and information technology decision makers at medium-sized companies (100-1000 employees) spanned a variety of industries, including banking, retail, consumer products, wholesale, transportation, industrial products, and insurance. Participants hailed from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands,Spain, Japan, China, Brazil, India, Russia, Australia, Mexico, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Poland, New Zealand and the Czech Republic. The study was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2010 to capture current and upcoming business and IT priorities and investment direction.

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