Small but big on market potential

Asia's small and midsize businesses are willing to spend billions acquiring new technology, and IT vendors stand ready to capitalize on this lucrative market.

Petite they may be, but small and midsize businesses (SMBs) across the Asia-Pacific region represent a sizeable market and are prepared to spend billions of dollars acquiring new technology.

China's SMB market, for instance, will spend a whopping US$42 billion on infocomm technologies this year, a 12 percent increase from 2007, according to AMI-Partners.

Figures from the research firm also revealed that this enterprise segment in Singapore and the Philippines will pour US$3 billion each on ICT. Over in Vietnam, SMBs are expected to spend over US$1.4 billion this year on IT and telecommunications products and services, a 11 percent hike over 2007.

The numbers represent a significant potential revenue stream for tech vendors and service providers, and several industry players including BT, Dell Computer and Hewlett-Packard, are starting to take notice.

And while they may be small compared to their bigger counterparts, SMBs sometimes have the same needs and concerns as large enterprises.

This ZDNet Asia special report aims to provide a handbook, of sorts, for small enterprises on how to overcome business challenges commonly encountered when building a corporate Web site and making a software purchase.

The report also highlights some basic steps to planning a cost-effective disaster recovery strategy, and discusses the role of Web 2.0 in the SMB space.