Small A/E firms face big IT challenges

December 2006 » Business Briefs
New data show that even the smallest firms in the architecture and engineering industry can't escape the increasing need for data and file storage. According to ZweigWhite's 2006-2007 Small Firm Survey of Architecture, Engineering, Planning & Environmental Consulting Firms, firms with fewer than 25 employees are now up to a median of 18.8 gigabytes of online disk storage space per employee, and firms with 25 to 49 employees have a median of 7.0 gigabytes per person.
New data show that even the smallest firms in the architecture and engineering industry can't escape the increasing need for data and file storage. According to ZweigWhite's 2006-2007 Small Firm Survey of Architecture, Engineering, Planning & Environmental Consulting Firms, firms with fewer than 25 employees are now up to a median of 18.8 gigabytes of online disk storage space per employee, and firms with 25 to 49 employees have a median of 7.0 gigabytes per person.

In the last year, small firms report their shared, online disk storage grew a median of 20 gigabytes for those with fewer than 25 employees and 50 gigabytes for those with 25 to 49 employees. Across the industry, research shows that online disk storage per employee has increased by close to 500 percent during the past five years.

While information technology can be a potentially large expense for a firm of any size, it can take an especially large bite out of the bottom line for small firms. Last year, firms with one to 24 employees invested a median of 2.4 percent of their net service revenue in information technology. Those with 25 to 49 employees invested a median of 2.8 percent. With storage accounting for a growing portion of firms' IT spending, small firm leaders and managers continue to face the challenge of striking the balance between investing in the increasing need for storage space and dealing with the financial constraints of running a small firm.

The 2006-2007 Small Firm Survey of Architecture, Engineering, Planning & Environmental Consulting Firms is available from the publisher for $295, plus $8 shipping and handling. To order, contact Zweig White Information Services at 508-651-1559; e-mail info@zweigwhite.com ; or order online at www.zweigwhite.com .

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