SMBs to flock to the cloud?

A Microsoft study indicates many SMBs are looking to get to the cloud in the next three years.

Cloud computing

Almost 40 per cent of small-to-medium-sized businesses globally plan to move into the cloud within three years, a major study by Microsoft has revealed.

The study, which surveyed more than 3,250 companies across 16 countries, also found that the number of cloud services SMBs will pay for will nearly double in most nations over the next three years. On average, they expected to be paying for three or more cloud services within their enterprise.

Microsoft business channels vice president Marco Limena said while cloud adoption would be gradual, SMB would continue to operate hybrid models with an increasing blend between off-premises and traditional on-premises infrastructure for the foreseeable future.

"As cloud computing becomes more ubiquitous and SMBs' existing IT becomes outdated, adoption will grow rapidly," he said. "Hosting service providers should consider the appropriate sales, delivery and support models to target SMB customers that are likely to pay for cloud services."

The study found that companies with planned growth were looking to the cloud because they wanted a scalable environment that can meet their expanding needs, with an affordable pay-as-you-go pricing model which will save on the need to invest in physical IT infrastructure. Companies which were focused on profit, not growth, said they were looking to the cloud because it was more "cost-effective".

The Microsoft study also looked at the adoption of Software-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service by SMBs and found that those adopting both services were larger, more growth-oriented and generally interested in additional services such as unified communications and remote desktop support.

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