The impact of the e-commerce revolution is being felt throughout small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), particularly in their IT shops. It’s one thing to provide services for a finite number of users, and quite another to offer up your services to the world through your Web site.

In several recent surveys, we have tried to take a snapshot of how businesses are reacting to these changes. And what we have found is that small- to medium-size companies are embracing the new e-marketplace while working diligently to augment their IT staffs to accommodate this different business climate.

It’s a whole new world
Gone are the days of waiting for a new business model to work itself out.

In the face of the new e-marketplace, company attitudes and core business practices are changing. Take a look at the next two graphics for evidence of that. What you will see is that during the past three years, companies have had to take a more aggressive stance to adopt new IT technologies. About 20 percent of companies have moved from a conservative approach to IT to a more aggressive one.

This push towards embracing e-commerce is also reflected in how quickly SMEs have entered the e-marketplace over the past few years.

For example, of the 73 percent of you that are hosting your own Web sites, more than 24 percent have been involved in e-commerce for less than a year. And about 36 percent have been involved in e-commerce for more than one year but less than two.

With 60 percent of respondents saying that their companies have moved into e-commerce just within the last two years, that begs the question as to how their IT shops have been able to keep up with such a dramatic change?

The answer is that a majority of companies (62 percent) are turning to outside sources to complement the efforts of their in-house IT staffs.

There is also a large contingent that outsources a certain amount of its IT infrastructure. For example, 30 percent of respondents are outsourcing network management functions.

Do these numbers reflect what you think is happening in the business world today? Start a discussion below or join one in progress and share your opinions. You can also send us a note.