Despite heightened economic pressure, new research claims almost half (44%) of UK SMBs hope to increase their IT spend this year likely in a bid to maintain high levels of productivity and to explore new and emerging technologies, like generative AI.
A survey from Sharp of 5,770 European small and medium businesses, including 502 UK-based SMBs, looked at the technology challenges and investment priorities the firms expect to have to deal with over the next 12 months.
Similar sentiments were felt across Europe, where IT security, hardware upgrades, and server updates all look to be key areas for investment this year.
IT spend to continue
More than half of the UK-based companies that were surveyed had proclaimed plans to invest more than £20,000 on IT this year, with one in 20 set to part with more than £100,000.
One in five (21%) of UK companies, and almost one-third (31%) of European companies, expect to embark on cloud migration projects to finesse their hybrid working strategies, which Sharp reckons is surprisingly low. The likelihood is that many organizations will be waiting to see what happens about the ongoing EU-US cloud battle, which could see some US providers pull out of the EU in the most drastic of outcomes.
Cybersecurity represented the top priority for precisely one-third (33%) of the participants’ investments, with several others concerned about providing the right hybrid working technology and tools.
Despite plans to invest big in IT, UK businesses are more aware of rising supply costs of the increased cost of living in general than their European counterparts. In comparison, Britain seems less bothered about talent acquisition and retention than European countries.
Sharp UK Managing Director, Stuart Sykes, offers a glint of optimism: “Despite understandable concerns about rising costs in the UK, businesses here are investing strategically in technology and seeing its value, even at a time of uncertainty.”