Small and medium-sized businesses realizing the cloud's advantages

January 25, 2012

Cloud computing is a viable IT solution for several essential enterprise tasks, and many small and medium-sized businesses are adopting the technology to increase productivity without purchasing expensive servers and software.

According to a report by Business Web Hosting Plans, an independent website that reviews web hosting providers, SMBs are adopting the cloud at a slower rate than private users, but businesses that have implemented a cloud solution are experiencing positive results. The report said 75 percent of SMBs using the cloud have been doing so for 30 months or longer, signifying that cloud adopters are realizing significant cost-cutting benefits.

"The results show that small and medium-sized businesses have benefited from shifting a significant workload from their computers to a cloud computing system," Business Web Hosting Plans representative Ryan Newman said. "For example, normally, you have to purchase software along with licenses for each of your employees. That can get very expensive. With cloud computing, you only need to load one application using the cloud computing system’s interface software."

The survey also revealed that SMBs have various concerns about transferring data and IT functions to the cloud. Respondents cited security and compliance among their cloud-related worries, however, according to Newman, the concerns are illegitimate and originate from a lack of knowledge.

The report advised all businesses to work on a detailed cloud strategy that includes plans to move applications like email, web hosting and data backup to the cloud environment. Meanwhile, the source expects the majority of enterprise applications will be hosted in the cloud within the next 10 years.

The survey results support several other recent studies regarding the current usage and future growth of cloud computing. According to a recent report by a provider of IT solutions, 32 percent of companies are either storing data in the cloud or plan to in the near future, while 28 percent expect to increase cloud storage investments. .

-McAfee Cloud Security