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The impact of COVID-19 on SMB ICT demand

Deepinder Sahni Principal, Consulting
Karthik Pannala Analyst
Joseph Bertran Senior Analyst, Research
Bob Takacs Principal

"ICT vendors should consider how to help their customers during the crisis; it will not only be good citizenship, but also good marketing."


The impact of COVID-19 on SMB ICT demand

This is one of several reports that we will publish to address the impact of COVID-19 on the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market. The purpose of this report is to quantify the impact that COVID-19 will have on the SMB market’s consumption of ICT products and services. Vendors can use this report to assess how their business may be affected by changes in SMB ICT demand.

We are quantifying and forecasting a quickly evolving situation, and the environment may be vastly different in 2–3 months’ time than today. Therefore, this is a provisional outlook that is subject to change as we revisit our assessment in the coming weeks.

The forecast highlights how ICT spending growth rates will be affected across various vertical industries and company size bands (in terms of the number of employees) in 2020 and 2021. We also show how growth rates will change in a range of ICT categories to illustrate how SMBs will prioritise their spending upon exiting the COVID-19 downturn.

We quantify two scenarios based on length of time that SMBs take to recover and reach near-normal operations.

Suggestions on how ICT vendors can assist their SMB customers to continue operating under these difficult circumstances are highlighted at the end of this document.

We welcome questions and discussion on our assumptions and outlook.