How IT Can Save SMBs Big Money
If there is an evergreen discussion theme at conferences or other gatherings of IT managers and executives, it's on ways of reducing costs while upping productivity.
Spending on cloud-based software is set to increase for nearly three out of four small- and mid-sized businesses this year, according to a survey conducted by Egnyte. In an InformationWeek post, Kevin Casey reported that 74 percent of SMBs plan to spend more on cloud software. He also pointed out that more than half (51 percent) of SMBs are set to increase their budgets for collaboration software. When quizzed on spending plans pertaining to collaboration software, only 6 percent answered with a "no." This statistic was mirrored by an equally low 2 percent of respondents who said "no" to spending increases on the cloud software front.
Of course, Egnyte did engineer the Egnyte Hybrid Cloud Storage, which appears to be a rather innovative cloud-based storage fabric that integrates cloud-based accessibility together with lighting-fast LAN access. In spite of the potential self-serving nature of the study, the numbers caught my attention as they appear to sync with a groundswell of interest in cloud computing. As Casey himself highlighted, Parallels recently valued the SMB cloud market at $8.6 billion, while IT spending is projected to increase in the SMB sector this year.
Certainly, software companies and vendors alike are already awakening to the potential of the vast SMB market. Siemens Enterprise Communications just this week launched several cloud-based unified communications products that target not just enterprises, but SMBs as well. Even network equipment maker D-Link has decided to join the cloud bandwagon with its debut of a cloud-managed Wi-Fi access point for SMBs, while NAS maker Synology supports the ability to perform a remote backup to Amazon S3.
I will be covering cloud computing in this week's continuation of "Eight IT Projects for SMBs," where I will be highlighting the various disparate, but practical, uses of the cloud that businesses can leverage. If you have any suggestions, do feel free to e-mail me in the meantime.