If any doubt remained that individuals, organizations and governments are flocking to cloud computing, Microsoft’s SMB Cloud Adoption Study 2011 should dispel it.
The study found 39 percent of small and mid-size businesses would be paying for at least one cloud service in the next three years. Expectations are cloud service demands will continue to grow, with most cloud customers using over three services.
Microsoft warns savvy customers will choose providers with care. Past experience and quality of service will factor highly in their decisions. Cloud solutions that provide customers with collaboration, storage, backup and email will be in hot demand.
While smaller businesses shouldn’t be overlooked, study findings suggest the larger an organization, the greater its cloud services demands. For companies of any size, expectations are 43 percent of the work will be done on the cloud.
The pay-as-you-go model is appealing for a variety of reasons. Without an upfront investment in IT, SMBs have more flexibility to grow.
“Cloud adoption will be gradual, and SMBs will continue to operate in a hybrid model with an increasing blend between off-premises and traditional on-premises infrastructure, for the foreseeable future,” said Marco Limena, vice president of Business Channels, Worldwide Communications Sector at Microsoft. “As cloud computing becomes more ubiquitous and SMBs’ existing IT becomes outdated, adoption will grow rapidly. Hosting service providers should consider the appropriate sales, delivery and support models to target larger SMB customers that are more likely to pay for cloud services.”