Cloud Adoption Picks Up SMB Momentum
A new survey of SMBs conducted by Microsoft shows that a shift to cloud applications is well under way.
While there has been much debate about the merits of cloud computing over the last two years, it's starting to look like it's no longer a question of if companies will be using cloud services, but rather to what degree.
A new survey of 3,000 small-to-medium business (SMB) organizations with between two to 250 employees conducted by Microsoft finds that while a shift to the cloud is definitely happening, the majority of the activity is confined to utilitarian applications such as email, voice communications, file sharing and instant messaging.
The reasons for shifting to the cloud include everything from saving money and being more productive to greater flexibility and responsiveness. Reasons for not moving to the cloud include security, privacy and a loss of control, which may be one reason why line of business applications don't seem to be high on the list of priorities for cloud adoption.
But perhaps even more interestingly, 60 percent of those surveyed said they didn't have the time or resources needed to implement cloud computing, which suggests that the single biggest inhibitor to cloud computing adoption may simply be inertia and the actual upfront costs associated with switching.
According to Gabriele Di Piazza, senior director of marketing for the Microsoft operator channels, the survey does conclusively show that security is dropping as a major cloud computing concern, but there are clearly many other factors at play. In fact, one of the most under-appreciated factors may be a loss of control in terms of being able to customize the application environment.
As more utilitarian applications get delivered via the cloud, it's clear that more business applications will follow. But the degree to which that will happen is still very much in doubt, which would suggest that we will be a hybrid world of cloud computing for a very long time to come.