SMBs unsure about cloud computing: Survey

Friday, November 02, 2012

Overview of cloud computing
[GFX: Sam Johnston
San Francisco: A majority of small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the UK and US are unsure of cloud services or think they are only for large companies, thus missing out on the opportunity to increase productivity and stay more effectively in control of their IT security, new research from internet security firm AVG Technologies reveals. 

AVG conducted research among more than 1,000 SMBs in the UK and US to gain insights into their understanding and attitudes towards cloud services and IT security. 

The study found just a quarter of SMBs had adopted some form of cloud services, while a similar proportion(22% in the UK and 17% in the US) thought cloud services were only for large companies. One-in-three SMBs (31% in the UK and 28% in the US) said they did not understand cloud services at all.

"This research shows that the IT industry still has a long way to go before SMBs fully appreciate how much they could gain from cloud services," said Dan Matthews, business journalist, author and small business owner.  "In these uncertain economic times it is important that SMBs make the most of IT services to help them stay secure, increase productivity and keep up with the latest advances in an ever changing business landscape."

More than three quarters of SMBs in both the US (77.3%) and UK (76.4%) say they are open to technology that makes their life easier, and are, in fact, dependent on large amounts of technology -over 95% of UK and US SMBs regularly use up to five pieces of technology in the course of their day-to-day work.  Significantly, however, a substantial proportion of SMBs in the US (42%) and UK (52%) say they are dealing with IT issues, including security, themselves - and spending up to four hours a week in the process.

For those SMBs who have taken the plunge into cloud services, the most popular usage is sharing/collaboration tools (64%), storage (34%) and iPad/mobile apps (32%).

In addition to the lack of understanding of cloud services, other factors cited were cost  (23% UK/21% US), lack of trust (17% UK/18% US), and the belief the services are too complicated (nearly 10% in both the UK and US).
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