SMBs Gobbling Up Cloud Computing In 2010

Cloud services adoption among SMBs rose in the first half of 2010 and is expected to continue to skyrocket through the remainder of the year, a new study has revealed.

The study, overseen by IT management software maker Spiceworks, showed that during the first half of 2010, 14 percent of SMBs reported using cloud computing services while another 10 percent reported plans to deploy cloud-based services.

Spiceworks probed 1,500 SMB IT professionals globally and published the results in a survey "SMB Cloud Computing Adoption: What's Hot and What's Not."

The study found that the smaller the company the more willing it is and the more aggressive it is when it comes to cloud services adoption. For example, 38 percent of SMBs with fewer than 20 employees currently use or plan to use cloud computing solutions within the next six months. Meanwhile, 7 percent of organizations with 20 to 99 employees and 22 percent of organizations with more than 100 employees said they plan to use cloud services over the same time period.

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"Small companies with little existing infrastructure and outsourced IT are moving most quickly to the cloud, whereas larger SMBs are taking more measured steps due to considerable investments in onsite technology," Jay Hallberg, Spiceworks co-founder, said in a statement.

Additionally, the study showed that SMBs in emerging markets are leading the cloud computing charge with 41 percent of SMBs in Latin American and South America and 35 percent of SMBs in the Asia Pacific region adopting cloud computing services. That beats out North America, in which 24 percent of SMBs are jumping into the cloud and Europe, where 19 percent are adopting cloud services.

Among different verticals, technology companies are grabbing onto cloud computing at a faster pace, Spiceworks found. Thirty-four percent of SMBs in the tech sector use or are planning to use cloud services, but the services sector, which comprises finance, human resources and consulting, is the next fastest growing segment with 22 percent using or planning to use cloud computing offerings. Other industries hover around the 20 percent adoption rate.

And despite SMBs quickly latching onto the cloud, there are still some holdouts. Spiceworks' research found that 72 percent of SMBs have no plan to move to the cloud in the next 12 months. Their main reasons for avoidance: technology and security concerns. Meanwhile, companies with 20 to 99 employees and a full-time IT pro on staff were the least likely to make the cloud leap.