Security, Cost Still Barriers to Small-Business Cloud Storage Adoption

Cloud storage adoption is rising among small businesses, but concerns over reliability, cost and security remain.

Small and midsize businesses are turning to cloud computing as an easier-to-manage, lower-cost alternative to traditional computing, but concerns over security and cost of implementation remained barriers to adoption, according to a survey of more than 100 companies by cloud computing specialist Twin Strata.

Overall, five out of six respondents indicated that they were either already using or plan to use cloud storage in some capacity, making it the most widely planned cloud initiative €“ even more than software as a service (SaaS).

As the survey was conducted at the Cloud Computing Expo, it€™s not surprising that nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents have implemented some form of cloud computing already, with more than a quarter (28 percent) having done so for three or more years. Half of smaller businesses (organizations with 51 to 250 employees) have implemented some form of cloud computing for three years or more.

While cloud storage currently ranks behind SaaS and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) initiatives, the survey indicated the rise of big data and increased regulation is driving businesses to cloud storage options, due to the scalability of cloud-based platforms and the need for organizations to easily manage growing storage requirements.

Concerns over security and the loss of control remain barriers to more widespread cloud storage adoption€”the single biggest inhibitor to adoption based on the results; however, that was cited by just 42 percent of respondents, indicating fears over the stability and security of cloud storage are receding. Other barriers to entry include cost or concerns over cost (24 percent), performance and reliability issues (24 percent) and compliance issues (22 percent).

€œWhile more than a third of respondents also indicated value in areas such as off-site data protection for disaster recovery, easier access to backup/archive and ease of budgeting, it€™s clear that storage provisioning is a driving factor for the growth in cloud storage,€ the report noted. €œIn fact, nearly 57 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, €˜It seems like we are always running out of storage.€™€

For organizations that have adopted a cloud storage solution, there was a stark difference in confidence levels€”not to mention downtime€”when it came to data recovery in the wake of a disaster. Thirteen percent of organizations that do not use cloud storage estimated that it would take more than a week to recover their data in the event of a disaster. This was in contrast to just 3 percent of organizations that use cloud storage.

The survey found nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of cloud storage users estimated they could recover their data within 24 hours, whereas less than two-thirds (62 percent) of non-cloud storage users estimated the same.