October 6, 2008

U.S. Home-Based Businesses to Spend US$1.3B on Security and Storage

Home-based businesses (HBBs) in the United States are on track to invest a sizeable US$1.3 billion on IT security and storage-related solutions this year. HBB owners are focusing on areas such as data security, data backup and disaster recovery, according to the latest study by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.

The bulk of the spending last year was on security software, storage hardware and security services. These comprised nearly 87% of all security and storage spending. By 2009, spending in just these three areas will exceed US$1.1 billion among US HBBs.

"Many factors are fueling this increased spending," says Jacqueline Atkinson, New York-based analyst at AMI. "One of the biggest is the expanded use of the Internet to extend business reach and administer online applications. HBB owners have to be better equipped to safeguard sensitive customer and personal information and adequately store and manage documentation."

Alarmingly, 40% of HBBs in the U.S. experienced loss of company data in the past year as a result of an electronic attack, while over 33% suffered a loss due to hard-drive failure. And while 79% of PC-owning HBBs report having some form of IT security in place, this still leaves close to three million vulnerable to data loss, steep recovery costs or business downtime.

"Nonetheless, this is an attractive market for security and storage vendors focused on home-based businesses--we see robust plans from new buyers this year," says Ms. Atkinson. "New security investments are likely to go toward anti-virus, anti-spam and firewall, as these solutions have gained the most acceptance in the HBB space."

With regard to IT storage, U.S. HBB owners rely more heavily on compact disks (CDs) and external PC drives to backup data files. However, backing up data over the Internet is emerging as a significant trend. HBBs are opting for offsite storage solutions, and reveal the strongest adoption plans for online storage and backup this year.

"The online marketplace is increasingly becoming a main resource for HBBs," says Ms. Atkinson. "They want easy to access technology that they can fit-and-forget." Vendors such as McAfee and Symantec who offer across-the-board solutions with simple online administrative tools have the strongest presence in the HBB market. This is a key opportunity as the majority of HBBs report re-investing in software and services on an annual basis.

Nearly 15 million HBBs in the U.S. access the Internet. The sheer size of the market presents new opportunities for vendors to capitalize on as HBBs invest more and more in a wide spectrum of security and storage software applications, hardware, and support services--installed in-house and increasingly deployed over the web.

About the Study

AMI's 2007 U.S. Home Based Business Overview and Comprehensive Market Opportunity Assessment study highlights these and other major trends in the context of current/planned IT, Internet and communications usage and spending. Products and services covered include established and emerging hardware, software, applications and business process solutions. Based on AMI's annual survey of HBBs across the U.S., the study tracks a broad spectrum of issues pertaining to budgets, purchase behaviors, decision influencers, channel preferences, outsourcing, service and support. Also covered are detailed firmographics and critically important technology attitudes and strategic planning priorities. This data points to key opportunities and messaging hot buttons for vendors and service providers seeking to match their offerings to HBB market requirements. AMI also captured these trends in studies in countries across North America, Europe, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific regions.

For more information about this study, AMI-Partners, or our global HBB research, call 212-944-5100, e-mail [email protected], or visit us at www.ami-partners.com.

About Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.

AMI-Partners specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital, and actionable market intelligence -- with a strong focus on global small and medium businesses (SMBs), and extending into large enterprises and home-based businesses. The AMI-Partners mission is to empower clients for success with the highest quality data, business strategy perspectives and "go-to-market" solutions. Led by Andy Bose, the firm has built a world-class management team with deep experience cutting across IT, telecommunications and business services sectors in established and emerging markets.

AMI-Partners has helped shape the go-to-market SMB strategies of more than 150 leading IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services companies. The firm is well known for its IT and Internet adoption-based segmentation of the SMB markets; its annual retainership services based on global SMB tracking surveys in more than 25 countries; and its proprietary database of SMBs and SMB channel partners in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey-based information from several thousand SMBs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SMB trends and analysis.