Gartner Blog Network

What’s mid-sized?

by Lydia Leong  |  July 27, 2009  |  1 Comment

As I talk to clients, it strikes me that companies with fairly similar IT infrastructures can use very different words to describe how they feel about it. One client might say, “Oh, we’re just a small IT shop, we’ve only got a little over 250 servers, we think cloud computing is for people like us.” Another client that’s functionally identical (same approximate business size, industry, mix of workloads and technologies) might say, much more indignantly, “We’re a big IT shop! We’ve got more than 250 servers! Cloud computing can’t help enterprises like us!”

“SMB” is a broadly confused term. So, for that matter, is “enterprise”. I tend to prefer the term “mid-market”, but even that is sort of cop-out language. Moreover, business size and IT size don’t correlate. Consider the Fortune 500 companies that extract natural resources, vs. their neighbors on the list, for instance.

Vendors have to be careful how they pitch their marketing. Mid-sized companies and/or mid-sized IT shops don’t always know when they’re talking about them, and not some other sort of company. Conversely, IT managers have to look more deeply to figure out if a particular sort of cloud service is right for their organization. Don’t dismiss a cloud service out of hand because you think you’re either too big or too small for it.

Category: industry  

Tags: cloud  people  

Lydia Leong
VP Distinguished Analyst
16 years at Gartner
23 years IT industry

Lydia Leong covers cloud computing and infrastructure strategies, along with a broad range of topics related to the transformation of IT organizations, data centers, and technology providers.Read Full Bio

Thoughts on What’s mid-sized?

  1. Adam Hils says:


    Gartner has one definition, other industry-watchers and vendors have others. If you examine Gartner’s definition (100-999 employees), you realize that we have many customers in that range, particularly in the higher end, with very-much-like-large-enterprise buying behaviors and levels of sophistication, and we have many, many customers with larger numbers of employees whose buying behaviors correspond more with what one might expect from midsized orgs.

    As with most marketing, deciding what to push to which audience requires – at a high level – market segmentation across numerous parameters, and, on the street, getting to know customers, their IT capabilities, and their comfort with new technologies.

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