Thursday, March 29, 2012
As they continue to overcome their concerns with cloud computing, more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are expected to deploy file hosting and other cloud-based solutions during the next several years, according to new research from Microsoft.
The company interviewed IT decision-makers or influencers from 3,000 companies around the world and found that cloud computing tops many of their priority lists.
"Gone are the days of large enterprises holding the keys to enterprise-class IT and services," said Marco Limena, Microsoft's vice president for operator channels. "The cloud levels the playing field for SMBs, helping them compete in today's quickly changing business environment, by spending less time and money on IT and more time focused on their most important priority–growing their businesses."
According to the report, the number of paid cloud services in use among SMBs is expected to double in the next five years, while the number of individual organizations utilizing the technology will triple during the next three. That shows, Microsoft said, the exploding popularity of the cloud in this segment.
"Cloud computing is able to deliver more of what small and midsize businesses need–cheaper operations and faster, better fusion of vital information to virtually any device," the report stated.
Moreover, companies now using the cloud expect to experience its benefits firsthand during the next several years. Sixty-three percent of respondents currently using the cloud said they expect to increase sales during the next 12 to 18 months. Another 55 percent said the cloud will drive growth for their company.
Online data storage has proven to be among the most popular cloud services, whether it is being used by small or large companies. When a company sends information to the cloud, it eliminates the need to maintain on-premise equipment and provides enough storage space and scalability to meet changing needs.
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