A new survey of IT professionals serving small and medium businesses worldwide has turned up some interesting facts about SMB spending and trends. The survey was conducted by Spiceworks, Inc., in the months of July and August and involved 1,130 survey respondents, the majority of whom represent teams supporting the SMBs in technological roles.
The entire report can be accessed from this page, though some basic information is required before the site will e-mail the free 2MB PDF file to you. Do take a look at it if you can, though I'll run through the various interesting facets of the findings in another blog.
What caught my attention today was the section on cloud computing as summarized by the press release:
57 percent currently use one or more "cloud computing" services. The three most popular cloud computing services in use or on the purchase list include anti-spam (43 percent), hosted e-mail (25 percent), and online backup (20 percent).
The above figure dovetails neatly with another recent report which concluded that 40 percent of SMBs are already adopting some form of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Indeed, this was predicted to rise to 65 percent over the next couple of years, higher than the 57 percent rate in enterprises.
Beyond the high adoption rate of SaaS by SMBs, though, I am excited that the most popular cloud-based services are ranked in order of anti-spam, hosted e-mail, and online backup. Indeed, these are the exact three areas that I highlighted in an earlier blog where I talked about SaaS that is ripe for SMB adoption.
Of course, naysayers will argue that the adoption rate is artificially inflated by SMB embracing the above three areas as a result of cost pressures. However, it must be remembered that many other cloud developments and projects are rapidly approaching release.
For one, interest over Windows Azure is reaching a feverish pitch as it heads into production in November. In addition, a hosted version of Microsoft Exchange 2010 is set to launch by the end of 2010, and these are just two of the most prominent cloud initiatives by software giant Microsoft. So overhyped or not, it is unlikely that interest in cloud computing or SaaS will taper off anytime soon.
Is your SMB using any cloud-based services at the moment? Do share with us here.