Based on a recent survey conducted as part of the ITIS project by the Taipei-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC) on IT spending of 500 Taiwanese SMBs (Small- and Medium-sized Business) employing between 20 and 199 people, it is expected that the average IT spending per Taiwanese SMB in 2009 will amount to NT$2.78 million (US$84,524.2; US$1=NT$32.89), down NT$320,000 (US$9,729.4) compared to 2008. The main reason for this decline is the continuing impact of the global financial crisis. 56% of SMBs lean towards reducing IT expenditures. Only 2% of Taiwanese SMBs plan to increase their IT spending.
Desktop PCs are the most adopted PC type among Taiwanese SMBs. As for storage equipment, optical disk drives and disk arrays are used the most. Network storage applications have significant potential. Regarding network communications equipment, the establishment rates of WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) and VPN (Virtual Private Network) are the highest. In the future, Taiwanese SMBs are expected to have significant demand for video-conference systems and IP phones.
In 2009, average spending on IT software among Taiwanese SMBs is expected to reach nearly NT$400,000 (NT$12,161.8). Enterprise software applications are still mostly basic applications such as HR, PSI management, and ERP. Open-source adoption rates are relatively high among server systems and database systems. More than 80% of Taiwanese SMBs have already set up websites for external visitors. Cloud computing and e-commerce transactions, however, are still not prevalent among Taiwanese SMBs.
As for the number of IT personnel employed by Taiwanese SMBs, more than 90% of SMBs employ fewer than five. IT outsourcing among SMBs focuses on mainframes and e-mail management, website design and set-up, and application system maintenance. Outsourcing items with future growth potential include application system establishment and IT security.
Large amounts of spam email and PC virus infections are currently the most problematic IT security threats for Taiwanese SMBs. The majority of SMBs have already installed anti-virus systems and firewalls. In the coming three years, there will be considerable demand for intrusion detection and protection systems and data leak protection systems.
According to MIC Senior Analyst Victor Weng, "IT spending of Taiwanese SMBs in the future will focus on strengthening IT security and integrating existing application software. The main IT application bottlenecks for Taiwanese SMBs are the difficulty of forecasting the benefits of IT investments and issues regarding the integration of different IT systems. Technology support capabilities and after-sales services are the main considerations of Taiwanese SMBs when choosing IT product vendors."
As for anti-virus software brand application by Taiwanese SMBs, Symantec is the most adopted brand with 39.6%, followed by Trend Micro with 37.4%. Other brands are still finding it difficult to challenge the leading positions of Symantec and Trend Micro. According to MIC Senior Industry Analyst Yi-Chih Wang, "Symantec and Trend Micro have been developing this market for a long time. These two companies have comprehensive central control and management platforms. Furthermore, the breadth and depth of their IT security products are the main reasons for the fact that they have been able to maintain their leading positions in the Taiwanese SMB market in terms of adoption rate."
The European anti-virus software brands Kaspersky and ESET have witnessed the most evident growth in the Taiwanese SMB market during the past two years. Adoption rates for these two brands among Taiwanese SMBs have reached 24.2% and 16.4% respectively. "The growth in adoption rate of these two brands is mainly due to their products' excellent scanning and detection capabilities coupled with business strategies focused on the SMB market", said Mr. Wang.
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Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC), based in Taipei, Taiwan, was founded in 1987. MIC is Taiwan's premier IT industry research and consulting firm providing intelligence, in-depth analysis, and strategic consulting services on global IT product and technology trends, focusing on markets and industries in Asia-Pacific. MIC is part of the Institute for Information Industry. http://mic.iii.org.tw/english
The Industry and Technology Intelligence Services (ITIS) project is managed by the Department of Industrial Technology of Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs. As part of the project, research is conducted in a variety of fields, including the ICT sector. The project serves both the public and private sector.