Archive for July, 2013

Small businesses increase IT budgets

July 29th, 2013

Small businesses have increased their IT budgets by 19% over the last six months but they are recruiting 4% fewer IT staff, according to research from IT professional network Spiceworks. Global research of 1000 IT staff working at businesses with less than 1000 staff revealed that the average annual budget was $192,000 in the first six months of 2013 compared to $162,000 in the previous six months.

The spending increases were bigger among smaller SMEs that have under 250 employees, while those with  250 to 999 employees reported an average decline in budgets of 13%. In the first half of last year average budgets were $152,000.

Hardware spending accounted for the largest part of the IT outlay (39%), and 42% of respondents said they were planning on buying tablet devices. Software accounted for 30% of total spend, IT services 19% and cloud and hosted services took up 12% of budgets.

Over half (61%) of the SMEs questioned use at least one cloud-based service. The smallest businesses with less than 20 employees spend 19% of their budgets on cloud services, double that of the average for companies with 20 to 1000 staff.

Server virtualisation is now used by almost three-quarters (72%) of SMEs surveyed, which was 7% higher than the previous six months. Over 80% of businesses with more than 100 employees use the technology.

How Adobe Creative Cloud will impact budgets

July 19th, 2013

Adobe is replacing its traditional Creative Suite perpetual licensing model with a cloud-based subscription model. Version 6 of Creative Suite, which included perennially popular titles such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver, will be replaced with a single subscription with access to over 19 tools. The so-called Creative Cloud also includes access to Adobe software downloads, storage and project management tools.

In terms of cloud-based software, Adobe is really only offering cloud-based activation. Users still have to download the software onto their device in the usual manner. They can, however, collaborate and share files with team members or across devices

For small creative companies or departments that have standardised on Adobe tools, Creative Cloud may be a good way to access the full breadth of Adobe products. However, it is costly and at least 22,000 people have signed a petition against the potential price hike that signing up to Creative Cloud entails.

Some people feel this hostile relationship can only deepen if Adobe is set on a course of aggressive bundling and oversupply of its software, which is already deemed expensive.

Clearly, companies with Adobe Cumulative Licence or Enterprise Agreements will need to consider their use of Adobe in their businesses if they want to remain on the latest version. But Adobe is not alone in changing its licensing. IT asset managers will need to get used to a shift away from traditional software licensing.

Microsoft alludes to free Windows 8.1 update

July 10th, 2013

The latest operating system from Microsoft – Windows 8 – is set to get an update this summer at no cost to its users. Tami Reller, chief marketing officer and chief financial officer at Microsoft, confirmed the upcoming release of Windows 8.1 – previously codenamed Windows Blue – at a conference hosted by JP Morgan in Boston in May, promising it would be made available for free through the Windows Store.

The update was in response to customer feedback since Windows 8 launched and the ideas would be incorporated when it rolls out later in the year.