Cloud Adoption Triggering Fundamental Changes Among SMBs: Report

January 13, 2011 Off By David
Object Storage
Grazed from eWeek.  Author:  Nathan Eddy.

With cloud adoption accelerating rapidly, research performed by MarketBridge, a provider of technology-enabled marketing and sales managed services and solutions, showed that marketing and sales are leading business applications while security is becoming a cloud asset. The company released the preliminary findings of a December survey of 1,000 North American midmarket and small businesses and their adoption of cloud-based information technologies, finding 44 percent of companies claim to have at least one business application on the cloud and more than 70 percent indicate they will move more within the next 12 months.

The report found mobility is driving cloud migration, with 38 percent of respondents indicating that the need to support greater workforce mobility is a trigger for cloud adoption, and early adopters are growth companies– companies growing greater than 10 percent per year were nearly twice as likely to move software and infrastructure to the cloud, the survey found.

Research indicated marketing and sales were the most accepted cloud applications: While 36 percent of companies using marketing automation do so via the cloud, and 29 percent of CRM is cloud-deployed, 49 percent of companies are planning to move one or more of these applications to the cloud within 12 months. In addition, 52 percent of respondents preferred to deploy on some sort of "private cloud" as oppose to multi-tenant public clouds and 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

Third party channels remain critical, according to survey results, with 67 percent of respondents preferring to purchase software applications through a third party value-added managed service provider; this appears to be due to a need for both higher service levels and functional expertise, the company suggested.

“Adoption of cloud-based information technology by midmarket and SMB companies – particularly in customer facing business processes such as Marketing, Sales, and Customer Intelligence – is being accepted more rapidly than many industry analysts originally predicted," according to Tim Furey, founder of MarketBridge. "While the practicality and challenges of cloud migration may slow down C-level executives’ aggressive expectations, there is no doubt that the shift will happen rapidly over the next 2-3 years."

Furey also noted the CEO and other senior executives outside of IT are more involved in these decisions than ever, and their level of cloud technology understanding is surprisingly high. In parallel with its "Customer Cloud Adoption" research, MarketBridge is also completing research on "Channel Cloud Adoption" to help understand how traditional resellers of on-premise software and hardware are adapting to the rapid migration to off-premise and shared IT infrastructure.