At the beginning of every year, it’s always interesting to see what the next big thing is: upcoming launches, trends and to find out what’s “ahead of the curve” for the new year. Recently, I read a great piece from Kevin Casey on InformationWeek SMB predicting what the editorial staff believes to be the biggest trends for 2011. Some surprising, some not, but it’s great news for those in high-tech or small- business PR Industries. So what does it all mean? The SMB market is waking up from the recession hibernation. Here are some of the highlights:

  • SMBs come in, tablets a’blazing: The time of the tablet has arrived (No. 1) and cash-strapped SMBs are aiming to acquire these trendy tech tools for mobility and improved efficiency.
  • SMBs go mobile more than ever: As predicted in No. 1 and 3 listings – SMBs will be relying more heavily on more lightweight and mobile hardware such as tablets and smartphones, making the business more flexible than ever. They predict the mobile office will become standard operating procedure in 2011.
  • Buzzword trends: InformationWeek SMB staffers feel that “cloud” will be more business than usual and less of a buzzword in 2011 (No. 4), while the acronym SMB (No. 5) will be much more widely recognized in the business world.  
  • Increase in IT Spending: While this will be slow going, 2011 is expected (No. 7) to be a recovery year and SMBs will open their pocketbooks to boost their IT infrastructure. Along with this estimation, virtualization (No. 8) is likely going to be a key expenditure to save money, increase security and enhance mobility.
  • Segmenting SMBs: The SMB market will continue to be more segmented (No. 9) and redefined by each vendor. This will be good to keep in mind that partners, media, etc. may have varying definitions.

If you are a tech business targeting SMBs, how are planning to target the ever-changing SMB tech audience?

—Meg Soule