Study: Global SMB cloud market expanding rapidly

February 16, 2012

More small and medium-sized businesses are realizing the benefits of cloud services than ever before, making it critical for cloud vendors to include products designed specifically for SMBs.

According to a study by a provider of hosting and cloud services, SMBs are the fastest growing customer group for cloud technology. SMBs are expected to double their purchases of paid cloud applications in the next three years, meaning third party providers that invest in cloud-based software will be positioned to experience positive growth, the report said.

The source said data backup, file sharing, accounting, email archiving, phone conferencing and customer relationship management applications are among the programs many SMBs are migrating to the cloud.

"The SMBs look to service providers to provide the cloud service because they don’t have the breadth to do it," expert John Zanni told CRN. "Instead of having a reseller install a CRM system and having to manage it themselves, it’s easier for a small business to say, ‘I’ll pay a small fee and you give me a login and you can worry about management, IT infrastructure and hosted infrastructure."

Cloud computing was originally adopted mostly by large companies, but the report proves SMBs are catching on to the cloud's many advantages. According to the study, the American SMB cloud market grew 25 percent last year to $15.1 billion, signifying that small firms are intrigued by the cloud's ability to reduce IT costs and increase flexibility. Furthermore, the source predicts the global SMB cloud market will reach $68 billion by 2014.

Technology vendors offer numerous types of cloud services, each with different advantages and benefits. In a recent Network Computing report, IT expert Carl Brooks said cloud-based storage is one of the top technology trends for SMBs this year. According to Brooks, companies are using cloud storage primarily to reduce data storage costs.

-McAfee Cloud Security