The economy is now looking up and analysts are researching how small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) across multiple segments survived the tough times and are also investigating the role of technology during the difficult times. According to Microsoft's global SME IT and Hosted IT Index 2010, businesses in Asia managed to perform better than their Western counterparts and used IT to improve both business productivity and effectiveness.
Although SMEs in Asia are quick to adopt hosted or cloud technology, they are often challenged by the problems associated with security of sensitive data. Microsoft has identified this issue to be the top most hurdle in the adoption of cloud computing.
Growth with IT
Microsoft's report indicates that a large number of SMEs surveyed in 2010 experienced an increase in growth despite the global recession, and these enterprises believe IT is very important to their business success.
The figures in the report show that about 58 per cent of SMEs in Asia enjoyed an increase in revenue in the past 12 months, and more than 87 per cent of the SMEs in the region find IT to be very important to their business.
Also, about an overwhelming 92 per cent of SMEs in Asia are confident that their business would improve if they deployed more IT in their organisations.
Hosted services adoption
Today, more companies in Asia are aware of the hosted services and about 67 per cent of SMEs surveyed said they have used hosted software to some extent and others considered it at some point.
Microsoft says SMEs have finally begun to understand the value of utility-based IT services since 37 per cent of the respondents find the pay-as-you-go model very attractive.
Most companies think adoption of hosted or cloud technology will help them to reduce cost, help in IT management and maintenance, as well as increase business value, productivity and competitiveness.
About 30 per cent of Asia's SMEs are already using cloud services and 52 per cent agree that their businesses would benefit from cloud computing. Those who are not using this technology say it is because of concerns related to security of sensitive data and cost of implementation.
"We have seen that providing end-users with the power of choice (the ability to mix and match deployment models) is valuable in supporting each user's unique and specific business requirements," said Alvin Lim, senior regional director of hosting and software services in Asia at Microsoft. "Microsoft's aim is to continue partnering with service providers to deliver rich, digital media experiences to end-users through seamless integration of services including those from the cloud across multiple screens." MIS Asia
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