COVID crisis mode across Australian small businesses delays IT projects

But IDC expects to see greater technology investment in at least half of small and medium firms in 2021 for pandemic-fuelled needs.

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Lockdowns and work-from-home directives due to the coronavirus pandemic have caused 60% of Australian small and medium businesses (those with less than 500 employees) to be in a crisis or survival mode, according to a recent IDC survey. As a result, many had to delay IT projects and found their technical shortcomings in connectivity, support, security, and sourcing exposed.

IDC consulting director Alex Sumarta said that work-from-home has driven spending in certain technologies such as video conferencing services, VPNs, security services, remote support, and laptops and printers for home use that enable resiliency during lockdown-imposed remote work.

“However, the bigger projects-oriented initiatives experienced delays as [small and medium businesses] focus on cost optimisation to weather the storm,” Sumarta said.

Still, although cost optimisation will remain a top priority in 2021, IDC expects 51% of Australian small and medium business will invest more in IT. This investment will go towards upgrading existing systems, with cloud, collaboration, and cybersecurity technologies getting most of that investment.

For cloud, IDC expects growth in infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). Collaboration investments will includes the applications commonly in use, but the survey did not explore which cybersecurity aspects may receive more attention.

Demand for implementation support, integration, and ongoing management will continue as organisations deal with requirements for industry compliance, security, and resiliency.

Along with technology, businesses will need support and services but also training and education for staff on new products, IDC found.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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