The majority of software budgets from SMEs will be spent on ongoing operations and maintenance of existing applications rather than buying fresh products.
The consequence of the recession is that a large number of firms have delayed upgrade work and will spend most of this year working through that backlog according to analyst house Forrester.
In a survey of SMEs across Europe and the US the majority expressed the view that the main focus of upgrade efforts would be made around existing finance and accounting software with CRM also being on the hit list for improvement.
Specifically in the UK 54% of SMEs said software spending would be on maintaining existing systems.
The findings of the Forrester research, The State of the SMB Software and Emerging Trends: 2010, will be a dose of realism for those hoping the cash will be directed towards fresh applications.
"Despite all the hype around new technologies that hit the market in the past few years, firms are devoting most of their IT bspending on already-installed technologies," said Holger Kisker, senior analyst at Forrester.
He said any spending that did manage top get through the focus on existing systems would have to be very well justified.