A recent study of IT spending among small businesses (from $40 million to $350 million in annual revenue) reveals that the budgets will grow slowly. The report—“IT spending and staffing forecast for 2012”— from Computer Economics predicts IT operational budgets should grow about 2.0 percent at the median for small organizations and 0.5 percent for medium ($350 million to $1 billion in revenue) and 0.8 percent for large (revenue of $1 billion or greater) organizations. Growth in the financial services sector, including banks and insurance companies, is weaker than other sectors—health care, professional and technical services, and distribution and manufacturing—but the net trend is still positive.

"Small-business spending often precedes a recovery, so this is a positive indicator," said Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics. "But there is a great deal of economic uncertainty, due in part to the European debt crisis, which leads IT executives to remain cautious with their spending and hiring plans."

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