Small business owners are increasingly turning to cloud-based solutions, a survey finds.
With cloud adoption accelerating rapidly, research performed by
MarketBridge, a provider of technology-enabled marketing and sales
managed services and solutions, showed that marketing and sales are
leading business applications while security is becoming a cloud asset.
The company released the preliminary findings of a December survey of
1,000 North American midmarket and small businesses and their adoption
of cloud-based information technologies, finding 44 percent of
companies claim to have at least one business application on the cloud
and more than 70 percent indicate they will move more within the next
The report found mobility is driving cloud migration, with 38 percent
of respondents indicating that the need to support greater workforce
mobility is a trigger for cloud adoption, and early adopters are growth
companies-- companies growing greater than 10 percent per year were
nearly twice as likely to move software and infrastructure to the
cloud, the survey found.
Research indicated marketing and sales were the most accepted cloud
applications: While 36 percent of companies using marketing automation
do so via the cloud, and 29 percent of CRM is cloud-deployed, 49
percent of companies are planning to move one or more of these
applications to the cloud within 12 months. In addition, 52 percent of
respondents preferred to deploy on some sort of "private cloud" as
oppose to multi-tenant public clouds and 48 of respondents believed
that data security would actually be better on the cloud, recognizing
the investment and expertise needed to establish and maintain secure
Third party channels remain critical, according to survey results, with
67 percent of respondents preferring to purchase software applications
through a third party value-added managed service provider; this
appears to be due to a need for both higher service levels and
functional expertise, the company suggested.
"Adoption of cloud-based information technology by midmarket and SMB
companies - particularly in customer facing business processes such as
Marketing, Sales, and Customer Intelligence - is being accepted more
rapidly than many industry analysts originally predicted," according to
Tim Furey, founder of MarketBridge. "While the practicality and
challenges of cloud migration may slow down C-level executives'
aggressive expectations, there is no doubt that the shift will happen
rapidly over the next 2-3 years."
Furey also noted the CEO and other senior executives outside of IT are
more involved in these decisions than ever, and their level of cloud
technology understanding is surprisingly high. In parallel with its
"Customer Cloud Adoption" research, MarketBridge is also completing
research on "Channel Cloud Adoption" to help understand how traditional
resellers of on-premise software and hardware are adapting to the rapid
migration to off-premise and shared IT infrastructure.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.