According to a recent report released by Microsoft, small businesses are rapidly taking to the idea of using cloud services, and in the course of the next three years, nearly 40 percent of small businesses will employ some cloud services in order to augment or replace their existing infrastructure.
Microsoft’s survey looked at over three thousand businesses across 16 countries and showed that over the next three years the smallest of them will increase their use of cloud technology to an average of 3.3 services for business – including email, payroll and storage. Larger companies will take on 4 services a piece – services that are business-focused and don’t include public-cloud giants like Facebook and Twitter.
In many respects, it is the small business owners who are driving the development of the cloud – it is predicted that it won’t be until 2014 that all Fortune 500 companies make use of one cloud service, let alone three or four. Small businesses are rapidly taking to the idea that they can do more than just store their data on the cloud – instead using it for a host of applications from networking to communications.
It is worth noting, however, that small businesses are not yet entirely comfortable with the broad nature that the cloud represents, with 82 percent of respondents to the Microsoft survey saying that they would prefer a local provider for their cloud applications and security. While the cloud is on its way to becoming ubiquitous and offering SMBs the ability to access their data from anywhere in the world, and while small businesses are in large part driving this trend, they still want to have someone local and accountable that they can contact should a problem or issue arise.