Large technology-related businesses are well-versed in cloud computing. But, as I pointed out in a post last month, most consumers are unfamiliar with the concept. It turns out that many small and medium size businesses (SMBs), which represent a big market for cloud computing vendors, need some education as well.
Industry vendors have been promoting the concept of cloud computing and the way their products and services fit into this growing field. But SMBs, a prime target of these promotional efforts, don’t appear to be getting the message. The focus of a new Zoomerang study was the adoption rate of cloud computing by SMBs and the findings uncovered surprising results. Here’s a snapshot of where SMBs are on the path to converting to this new technology:
- Have already deployed a cloud-based system: 10%
- Not familiar with the technology: 47%
- Have heard the term but don’t know what it means: 25%
Alex Terry, general manager of Zoomerang, notes "[t]his research points to the need for cloud vendors to educate business owners on what cloud computing is and how it's relevant to SMBs."
Currently, only 2% of SMBs are actively planning a cloud conversion. And they’ll be doing so in the following areas:
- Data storage: 61%
- Email: 53%
- Customer service: 38%
This survey also revealed that members of the IT staff are taking on broader roles in many SMB organizations. In some cases, these staff members are increasingly involved in revenue generation – sales and business development. This expanded role is likely to give IT personnel access to larger purchasing budgets. As a result, cloud computing vendors need to step up their educational and promotional campaigns to educate IT staff members on the benefits of this technology in order to ensure adoption and increase sales.[Source: Pepe-Warren, Michele. SMB IT Roles changing. InformationWeek.com. 5 May 2011. Web. 20 May 2011]