CIOInsight, citing a December 2010 report by MarketBridge, mentions in an article on Cloud adoption by SMBs data that suggests that Cloud Computing is fast moving past the innovators and early adopters phases of the product adoption curve. The research was done with 1,000 North American midmarket and small businesses and analyzed their adoption of cloud-based information technologies.
According to the study, mobility is one of the drivers behind this move by SMBs, which only months ago were questioning the security of the cloud. As mentioned in the IDC Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2007-2011 Forecast paper,”IDC predicts the number of worldwide mobile workers will reach 1 billion – including nearly 75% of the U.S. workforce – by the end of 2011.” This is aligned with MarketBridge’s findings, in which 38% os respondents mentioned increased mobility as the driver for the adoption of cloud services.
The study brings several other interesting pieces of data:
- Cloud adoption is picking up the pace: 44% of the surveyed companies have at least one business application on the cloud, and 70% of the remaining companies plan to have one within the next 12 months
- Marketing and Sales are the most accepted Cloud apps: 36% of companies are using marketing automation on the cloud, and 29% of CRM is cloud-deployed. Over 49% of the companies are planning to move one or more of these applications to the cloud within 12 months
- Private clouds are preferred: 52% of respondents preferred to deploy on some sort of “private cloud” – Here is where these companies show signs of immaturity in using cloud technologies – they are still trying to do things “in house” or signing up for dedicated cloud setups and missing out on the economies of scale of public clouds, usually based on security concerns. The next number is even more surprising, since it seems to contradict this one.
- Cloud security perception: 48% of respondents believed that data security would actually be better on the cloud, recognizing the investment and expertise needed to establish and maintain secure computing environments. This is really a head-scratcher when confronted with the previous piece of data, although considering that 48% believe that the cloud is secure and 52% prefer private clouds, there isn’t necessarily an overlap. These might be two complementary groups in the research.
- Companies are outsourcing: 67% of respondents preferred to purchase software applications through a 3rd party value-added managed service provider; this appears to be due to a need for both higher service levels and functional expertise.
This is great news for the industry.