Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vast Majority of Small Businesses Unaware of Cloud Computing?

Some 71 percent of small businesses surveyed by Newtek Business Services said they have never heard of cloud computing. The poll of approximately 1,800 respondents found 26 percent of those who had heard of cloud computing could describe what it was. See

On the other hand, during the first half of 2010, 14 percent of small and medium businesses reported using cloud computing services and another 10 percent reported plans to deploy cloud-based services, according to a study by Spiceworks.

Twice as many SMB information technology professionals (28 percent) are using cloud solutions today compared to the second half of 2010 (14 percent).

The difference in survey findings might be that the Newtek survey is of non-technical business owners, while the Spiceworks survey is of IT professionals. One might assume the Newtek respondents do not have in-house technology staffs, while the Spiceworks respondents in fact work in that capacity.

Growth plans for 2011 continue to be aggressive, as another 14 percent of IT professionals plan to start using the cloud by midyear. In all, 42 percent of SMB IT pros plan to be using cloud services by mid-2011.

Among SMB IT pros using the cloud today, 39 percent use the cloud for web hosting, making it the single largest varietal in the cloud family. Another 14 percent plan to start using the cloud for web hosting within the first half of 2011.

As for other cloud services, email hosting (32 percent), data backup and recovery services (29 percent) and application hosting (25 percent) were top applications.

The 1,500 Spiceworks respondents work at firms with fewer than 1,000 employees. But the study suggests smaller SMBs are more aggressive when it comes to cloud services adoption than their larger SMB counterparts. See

Some 38 percent of SMBs with fewer than 20 employees use or plan to use cloud solutions in the next six months, the Spiceworks survey found. This adoption rate is markedly higher than the 17 percent of organizations with between 20 and 99 and the 22 percent of organizations with more than 100 employees that use or plan to use cloud services over the same time period.

Technology companies also are adopting cloud services at a faster pace. Some 34 percent of SMBs in the tech sector use or are planning to use cloud services. Companies in the services sector (finance, HR, consulting) comprise next fastest growing vertical segment with 22 percent using or planning to deploy cloud solutions.

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