If you're leading the IT department for a small- or medium-sized business (SMB), you may feel your tech budget is never large enough. You probably look with envy upon your large-enterprise counterparts who are in the position to buy boatloads of computers every year and, through their sheer volume, hold sway over the software and services markets. IT budgets at small and medium-sized companies have been especially hard hit by the recent economic downturn. But, a recent study from research firm IDC reveals that the collective IT spending by small- and medium-sized businesses is on the rise. The IDC study forecasts IT spending by SMBs in the United States, and compares it with spending estimates worldwide. Total IT spending is presented for 2012-2016, with the baseline year of 2011, and subtotals are provided for small businesses (fewer than 100 employees), lower midsize companies (100-499 employees), and upper midsize companies (500-999 employees). Details on spending totals are provided for key hardware, software, and services technology areas: PCs and peripherals, systems and storage, networking equipment, packaged software, and IT services. The study also forecasts the total number of SMBs.