IT budgets at SMBs in the EMEA region are seven percent lower than the global average, according to research.

IT service management company Spiceworks surveyed 1,350 IT pros globally and found that budgets in EMEA were lower, despite an overall seven percent increase in budgets worldwide, when comparing the second half of 2012 to the first half.

Recruitment across EMEA IT departments is also less than the global average with six percent fewer SMBs planning to hire IT staff.

EMEA is also lagging behind the rest of the world for tablet adoption in the workplace, where support for tablets in EMEA workplaces is 12 percent lower than it is globally.

There is also a huge gulf expected in cloud adoption. Globally, 73 percent of SMB IT departments anticipate using cloud services during the first half of 2013, compared to only 12 percent of EMEA SMBs.

But EMEA plans to get ahead in the adoption of desktop virtualisation, with six percent more SMBs planning to adopt the technology in the first half of 2013.

Overall, 26 percent of SMBs globally plan to hire IT staff in the second half of 2012, a four percent decline from earlier this year, despite IT budgets rising.

Some 53 percent of SMB respondents globally also support company-issued tablets on their network.

The survey found that 59 percent of respondents have a BYOD (bring your own device) initiative and support employee-owned computers, tablets or smartphones on their network. However, 24 percent moan that it's a "headache" for their IT department.

"The world's SMBs continue to increase their investment in new technologies, including tablet devices, smartphones, cloud services and virtualisation," said Jay Hallberg, vice president of marketing at Spiceworks.