Small businesses are using cloud predominantly for storage (67 percent) and Website hosting (56 percent), according to a recent survey by Iconnyx, an managed IT and Web hosting company. Research of more than 300 small business leaders conducted over two events in the past month shows these to be the typical SMB applications, followed by business continuity and CRM (both 39 percent).
The majority of SMBs who have implemented a cloud infrastructure reported spending 10 to 30 percent of their working day in the cloud (44 percent), according to survey results. At extreme ends of the scale, 11 percent of respondents claimed to spend no time in the cloud at all, whilst a further 11 percent claimed to spend in excess of 50 percent of time using cloud-based technologies.
The research also showed there is still confusion around the benefits of implementing cloud computing, with cost cited as both a benefit and a top barrier to embracing the technology. The survey, conducted at Unified Communications Expo earlier this month, Iconnyx's own event last week and a series of online polls, indicated that a lack of education on cloud benefits is stalling adoption of cloud computing technologies.
Of the 300+ professionals who participated in the survey, 93 percent responded that they could explain what cloud computing is. However, nearly 43 percent of participants answered that their organization is still not involved in cloud computing. Those using cloud-based solutions cite cost savings, mobile accessibility and ease of managing infrastructure as the top benefits of using the cloud (42 percent). At the same time, a further 54 percent of companies cited cost as a barrier to implementation.
"The research indicates that there is still a barrier stopping organizations from using cloud-based solutions, and uncertainty around the deployment of cloud, as well as the benefits," said Tim Walker, managing director at Iconnyx. "What is clear is that companies need more education and knowledge of real-world deployments-this has been the overwhelming feedback."
Walker said the industry needs to share best-practice examples so companies can appreciate the cloud in real-life scenarios. "They need to see the benefits that companies of a similar size, industry and infrastructure are experiencing, with whom they can relate and compare," he explained.