Cloud Adoption by SMBs Is Growing, Study Says
A study commissioned by Cbeyond, a telecommunications and IT company based in Atlanta, Georgia, revealed that cloud adoption among SMBs is growing. In addition, SMBs are increasing their IT budgets in order to migrate to the cloud. According to the study, 64 percent of the small businesses that were surveyed have plans to increase their IT budgets to accommodate cloud services adoption.
Companies would also be hard-pressed to include infrastructure without the cloud, a move that represents a growing opportunity for business partners to reach out to their smallest customers with an updated managed cloud services portfolio. Finding customers may not be difficult, but maintaining a profitable and competitive edge along these newfound markets can be challenging. And as for service prospects in 2013, accounting, banking, company emailing, data archiving, and file sharing are the most popular choices.
The factors that drive cloud services adoption among SMBs are the following: 83 percent claimed that cloud services offered them more flexibility, 78 percent said that cloud-based services allowed them to be more productive, and 71 percent maintained that migrating to the cloud was a money-saving move.
Forty-nine percent of surveyed SMBs expected their general business conditions to improve six months from now, while 45 percent said that they predict their 2013 hiring goals to fall short of their hiring levels in 2012. Plus, while majority of SMBs planned to ramp up their IT spending, 31 percent admitted to keeping theirs unchanged and five percent would lower their IT budget.
The Cbeyond study also indicated that although the rate of cloud adoption among SMBs is rapidly increasing, the finding says nothing new. SMBs turning to cloud services are caused mainly by their lack of budget, time, and qualified IT staff.
The projections of the Cbeyond-commissioned study do not seem to be changing any time soon. A report from Parallels, a market research firm, showed that the adoption of cloud services by SMBs would rise from a 25 percent growth trajectory of $15.1 billion in 2011 to a worldwide market growth of 26 percent topping off at $68 billion by 2014.
There is definitely an opportunity, at present and in the future, for business partners to expand the niches in SMB cloud services. In fact, one of the major hurdles for the channel is to discover viable differentiation in SMB markets that are aggressively migrating to the cloud.
The survey also uncovered that, regardless of a company’s budget, some of the most crucial investments involved high-speed Internet, mobile services, enterprise-grade voice and broadband services, collaboration, productivity, and security applications, and desktop and notebook management and support. (KOM) Link