Awareness of cloud benefits increasing among small businesses

January 25, 2012

Cloud computing can provide companies with reduced IT costs and increased efficiency, two advantages that are often appealing to small businesses with limited technology budgets and few, if any, full-time IT employees.

According to a recent survey by Webtorials, a website for IT-related education and resource sharing, decreasing total cost of operations is the top priority this year for small and medium-sized businesses. As a result, more SMBs now understand the potential benefits and are transferring traditional IT functions to the cloud.

"As awareness about the benefits of cloud solutions gains momentum, these findings suggest that SMBs are beginning to connect the cost-saving potential of these services to their overall mission of reducing expenditures and minimizing TCO," said David Scult, CEO of Fonality, which commissioned the survey.

The survey found a 14-percent rise in cloud knowledge among SMBs compared to last year, while limiting costs remained the top goal for enterprises this year. Meanwhile, the majority of respondents reported increased understanding of the advantages of cloud computing, and 85 percent said they're interested in IT solutions that provide mobile employees with remote access to business communications.

"It is encouraging to see that SMBs are taking the initiative to learn more about cloud-based services," said Steve Taylor, editor-in-chief and publisher for Webtorials. "This is a needed first step for SMBs."

Several other recent reports have suggested cloud adoption among SMBs could expand significantly as more understand the full potential of the cloud and its cost-cutting benefits. According to SmartData Collective, more SMBs than ever before are using cloud services, especially Software-as-a-Service, a solution model that enables companies to deploy enterprise applications across multiple devices without paying expensive software licensing fees. The report predicted 35 percent of SMBs would be using the cloud in 2012.

-McAfee Cloud Security