During the first half of 2010, 14 percent of small to midsize businesses reported using cloud computing services and another 10 percent reported plans to deploy cloud-based services, according to a new study conducted by social IT management application provider Spiceworks.
The findings were uncovered in a global survey of 1,500 IT professionals at midmarket companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. The survey was designed to uncover cloud computing adoption trends and sentiments among SMBs, Spiceworks said.
The survey found smaller SMBs are more aggressive when it comes to cloud services adoption than their larger SMB counterparts, with 38 percent of SMBs with fewer than 20 employees using or planning to use cloud solutions in the next six months. This adoption rate was 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, according to Spiceworks.
"Small companies with little existing infrastructure and outsourced IT are moving most quickly to the cloud, whereas larger SMBs are taking more measured steps due to considerable investments in onsite technology," said Jay Hallberg, Spiceworks' co-founder and vice president of marketing. "With seven times as many users as the enterprise market, it's important for cloud service vendors to consider cloud service adoption patterns and to make it simple for SMBs to manage hybrid on-premises and cloud solutions."
According to survey results, technology companies are adopting cloud services at a faster pace: 34 percent of SMBs in the tech sector use or are planning to use cloud services. Companies in the services sector, such as finance, HR or consulting, make up the next fastest growing vertical segment, with 22 percent using or planning to deploy cloud solutions. Most other industries trail closely behind with 20 percent adoption rates, the survey found.
However, 62 percent of SMBs said they have no plans to move to the cloud in the next 12 months, citing technology and security concerns. Companies with 20 to 99 employees and typically one full-time IT pro on staff were least likely to move, along with companies in core industrial segments like manufacturing, aerospace or engineering and social services such as government, education and health care. SMBs in emerging markets lead the pack in cloud adoption, according to survey results, with 41 percent of midmarket businesses in Latin America/South America (LASA) and 35 percent of SMBs in the Asia/Pacific region saying they are adopting cloud services.
The "SMB Cloud Computing Adoption: What's Hot and What's Not" survey was conducted by the Spiceworks Voice of IT (VoIT) market research program. Survey respondents were from 87 countries and among the 1 million SMB IT professionals that use the free Spiceworks IT management software to manage their computer networks.