Small businesses use of Cloud IT to double - but SMBs need help with adoption
05 April 2012
The number of the world's smallest companies using at least one paid cloud service will triple in the next three years. The main driving force for this is the expected productivity benefits. However more than 60% of SMBs indicate they do not have the resources necessary to implement new technologies and services
The number of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) accessing enterprise-class IT through paid-for cloud services is set to double over the next five years according to new research.
Conducted by Edge Strategies, paid for by Microsoft, and including 3,000 SMBs in 13 countries, the research also reveals that the number of the world's smallest companies using at least one paid cloud service will triple in the next three years. The main driving force for this is the expected productivity benefits of cloud adoption with 59% of the surveyed companies using cloud services reporting “significant” returns compared with 30% of SMBs not yet using the cloud.
According to Marco Limena, vice president, operator channels for Microsoft, the cloud is levelling the business playing field as it helps “SMBs compete in today's quickly changing business environment, by spending less time and money on IT and more time focused on their most important priority - growing their businesses."
These users also believe they are better placed to buck the trend of economic gloom with 63% of those SMBs using cloud services saying they expect increase
sales over the coming 12 to 18 months while 55% believe technology will power their growth. Half of SMBs say cloud computing is going to become more
important for their operations, and 58% believe working in the cloud can make companies more competitive.
Concerns that inhibit the take up of the cloud in enterprises appear to be waning in the SMB sector as they look to add more devices and services. Security is still a priority but it is no longer a main concern with only about 20% of SMBs saying they felt that data is less secure in the cloud than it is in their on-premise systems. More than one in three of them believe that their data is, in fact, as secure in the cloud as in their own systems.
However, for many SMBs how they can exploit the cloud is still not clear and many are unable to identify which services would be most valuable for them. More than 60% of SMBs indicate they do not have the resources necessary to implement new technologies and services, and 52 percent do not have the resources to get their employees trained. For the large ecosystem of cloud service providers, this represents significant opportunity to bridge the knowledge and implementation gap and gain new customers – 56% of SMBs report a preference toward buying IT and cloud services from a single source
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