RealTime IT News

Small Businesses Staking High Investment in LAN Products

The market for small business LAN and server products is projected to reach almost $4.1 billion in sales by the year 2001, according to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) report.

Sales of small business networking products reached almost $2.5 billion in 1997, and IDC projects that number will jump 15.8% every year, increasing to $4.1 billion in 2001.

Small businesses are purchasing a range of networking products, from servers to network interface cards to operating system software.

"With the help of computer dealers and resellers, small businesses are assembling networks that are both powerful and affordable. The major LAN and server companies--3Com, Bay Networks, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft--are all paying attention to this market and it's starting to pay off," said Raymond Boggs, who directs small business research for IDC.

IDC reported that even the smallest of companies are running servers off of LANs. "More than half the network users with under 20 employees now have servers," said Susan Frankle, IDC's director of server research.

In conjunction with the rise of networking products, small-sized companies are showing a significant increase in the number of PCs connected to networks. IDC predicts that the number of network-enabled PCs installed in small businesses will grow by 17.1% annually to reach 17.8 million in 2001.

Most companies cite they use LANs for printing and file sharing purposes; however, businesses are finding increased value in using corporate networks for more advanced applications such as work collaboration and shared Internet access.