SMB Confidence in Cloud Security Grows, Surveys Say
A study released May 14 by Microsoft reveals that security worries among small and midsize businesses about embracing cloud computing are easing. A similar survey from Symantec shows SMBs are seeing improved disaster preparedness in virtual or cloud environments.
The global Microsoft study, conducted by comScore, shows that 35 percent of SMBs surveyed said they have experienced noticeably higher levels of security since moving to the cloud. Also, 32 percent said they spend less time worrying about security and, by the same percentage, said they spend less time per week managing security than before they went to the cloud.
These and other results indicate that security is not the impediment to cloud adoption than it has been in the past, said Adrienne Hall, general manager of the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing business. In fact, the study shows that when SMBs can spend less time and money on cloud security, they can invest the savings in their business.
Forty-one percent of those surveyed said they were able to employ more people in roles that directly benefit sales or business growth, 39 percent invested in more product development and 37 percent said securing the cloud improved agility and competitiveness. Also, 52 percent said using the cloud enabled them to more quickly add new products and services to benefit the business.
The study's release gives Microsoft the opportunity to promote its Windows Intune cloud-based service for managing a collection of up to 500 PCs, typical for an SMB. Customers pay a monthly fee for each PC controlled through an IT administrator's console. The software makes sure each PC is running the latest security and software updates as well as managing anti-malware and other security applications.
The survey focused on companies with between 100 and 500 PCs to manage and was limited to companies whose cloud adoption was through a subscription-based service, so it did not include companies operating a private cloud. The respondents were from companies in the United States and four Asian countries.
The findings closely mirror those in another cloud survey released May 14, this one from Symantec. Among the findings in its 2012 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey, 41 percent of SMBs surveyed found that using a public cloud service made them better prepared for an IT disaster.
But the Symantec study, conducted by research firm ReRez, looked at more than just public cloud environments. The feeling of better disaster preparedness also improved for those adopting private clouds (43 percent), server virtualization (71 percent) and those enabling employees to access the corporate network on mobile devices (36 percent).
Concerns about disaster preparedness were top of mind for 34 percent of public cloud adopters, 37 percent for private cloud, 34 percent for virtualization and 36 percent for mobile deployments.