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UK SMEs' tech spend to rise 54% on last year

Small and medium-sized businesses in the UK will spend £8 billion more on technology this year than they did during 2013, according to a new study.17 Jun 2014

A survey of more than 2,000 businesses by GE Capital found that SMEs will spend £22.8bn on technology in 2014, up 54% on their collective tech expenditure last year.

The results of the study were revealed in a report by technology news website CRN. Sales in IT hardware, software and office equipment will all grow, according to the report.

Many businesses and public sector organisations have been evaluating their IT infrastructure in light of technological developments. The growing market for cloud services, the increasing importance of harnessing big data, the value of social media to customer engagement and an increasingly mobile consumer and workplace environment is driving demand for the latest technology and forcing organisations to assess the suite of legacy IT at their disposal to determine whether it can support the necessary innovation.

IT contracts law specialist Clive Seddon of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, recently said that, as part of a robust digital strategy, businesses should review their existing IT systems before deciding to replace them.

"The need to leverage the most from IT is at the absolute core of most companies' ambitions to innovate and grow at the moment," Seddon said. "However, because the recession drove many businesses to cut back their internal IT operations and enter into outsourcing agreements in search of efficiencies, businesses will now find that their legacy IT estate is backed by a complicated set of contracts."

"Businesses need to review their legacy IT and the underlying contracts and decide which applications and functions are core, which are flexible and which should be discarded before seeking to introduce new technology into their organisation. This review, which should accompany a wider assessment of the financial impact and legal risks associated with the shift to new technology, will help businesses understand costs and risks associated with digital transformation projects and ensure the technology in use by the organisation is aligned to the wider business objectives," he said.