Businesses have clearly recognized the existence of cloud computing, and it would be difficult to find a business where buzzwords like "cloud" and "SaaS" are not being thrown around. But how many businesses are actually using the cloud or at least considering it? According to a Microsoft-sponsored study 39 percent of small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) expect to pay for cloud services within 3 years, an increase of 34 percent.
The study "SMB Cloud Adoption Study Dec 2010 - Global Report", conducted by Edge Strategies, surveyed employees at 3,258 companies from all over the world. What it found is that 74 percent of those employees expected to use at least one cloud service (either paid or free) in 3 years, and 39 percent expect to pay for services.
The two largest areas of cloud usage used by respondents were accounting and payroll (20%), collaboration (17%), file/data storage and backup (15%), business class email (14%), and CRM (14%). Several other services, such as data archiving and web conferencing also accounted for more than 10 percent. The study also found that SMBs that use email through multiple methods (i.e. desktop app, browser, and mobile device) are more likely to adopt paid cloud services.
Of those SMBs that do not intend to use cloud services, 57 percent believe they have IT capabilities that are sufficient for current use. They believe their in-house IT solutions give them more control over applications and data. 53 percent stated that they did not know enough about cloud computing to make an informed decision. On the other hand, only 30 percent did not trust cloud services because of perceived unproven results, lack of data security, or higher cost, and only 15 percent viewed cloud services as unreliable in general.
The evidence from the study strongly indicates that most companies will continue to view on-premise software as an important component of their business IT solutions, while cloud computing will continue to play a significant role. Businesses that need both options should look to a service provider that can deliver both, and Microsoft is the obvious choice. Microsoft now offers on-premise solutions with
By CAL Business Solutions,