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A third of SMBS have never used cloud computing: The Alternative Board

A third of SMBS have never used cloud computing: The Alternative Board

“It will only be a matter of time before this starts to impact on their bottom lines.”

A study by business advisory group, The Alternative Board, found one-third of small and medium businesses have never used cloud computing.

“This study is a real eye opener," says Stephen James, New Zealand CEO of The Alternative Board. "Respondents using the cloud say it makes their workforce more productive and better able to service their customers’ needs."

“A lack of knowledge about cloud computing could be holding many SMEs back,” says James. “It will only be a matter of time before this starts to impact on their bottom lines.”

The Alternative Board says the survey was taken by 300 business owners in New Zealand, UK, Ireland, Canada and the US. The mean number of employees is 20, and the most common industry sectors represented were professional services, manufacturing and construction. Just over a quarter – 28 per cent - of the respondents have annual revenue of $5 million or more, with 34 per cent reporting revenues of between $1 million and $5 million

Majority – 87 per cent - of respondents have been in business for at least eight years, with 49 per cent of total respondents being in business for more than 20 years.

Read more: ‘Take incremental steps to develop BI capacity’

A lack of knowledge about cloud computing could be holding many SMEs back.

Stephen James, The Alternative Board

According to the study, the majority of cloud-using businesses no longer have security fears.

When businesses first moved to the cloud, 80 percent of owners with a high grasp of cloud computing rated their security confidence at a 7 or higher. Around 63 per cent of owners with a lower grasp of cloud computing rated their confidence in security a 7 or higher.

Functionality was the greatest concern from respondents migrating to the cloud (43 percent). Businesses were mainly concerned that by using the cloud, important data could be compromised. They were also concerned by the inability to access data when internet signal is weak and with dependence on a third party to manage their company’s information technology needs.

Read more: Does your Board paper have a section on cyber risk?

Eighty one percent of respondents rated their satisfaction with using cloud based platforms a seven or higher, according to the Alternative Board.

When businesses were asked what their reasons were for moving to cloud computing the top response (22 per cent) was because it makes their workforce more mobile and productive followed by quicker/easier access to data (21 per cent) and to service customers more effectively (11 per cent. )

“Just 8 per cent said they made the switch to save costs,” notes James.

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Read more: Doing business with Jonathan Stern of MuleSoft: 'How to break the rules'

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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