As we pull new surveys out of 11 different countries I am struck by something. During our survey we ask SMB business decision makers how likely they are to purchase various IT products over the next three months. We also ask these SMBs what they purchased over the last three months and what they plan to purchase beyond three months. This question is very insightful (or at least has the potential of being very informative) because it asks about planned spending at the IT category level (desktops, printers, SaaS, etc.).
This questions also has another dimensions that is interesting. When AMI asks this question it requires that the SMB be specific about how likely they are to make these purchases. This allows us to delineate between those SMBs who are budgeting (and committed to making specific purchases) vs. those who are less committed and need a little prodding to make that purchase a reality: the “fence sitters.”