Small Businesses Not Yet Swayed By Cloud's Benefits

According to Newtek's SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey, 48 percent of small-business owners do not believe cloud computing will shrink their IT costs. The survey polled 1,000 respondents in June. Meanwhile, 20 percent believe cloud computing solutions will reduce their IT costs, while 32 percent are undecided or uncertain.

The survey found that small-business owners' lack of education around cloud computing may have led to the results, a sign that solution providers can bring their customers up to speed on the benefits of cloud computing.

"It definitely appears that the education of small independent business owners regarding the obvious benefits of cloud computing still has a long way to go," the survey found.

In addition, Newtek Business Services found that 42 percent of small-business owners surveyed will go with Microsoft's cloud products as opposed to Apple's upcoming iCloud offering, which 15 percent of respondents said they would use. Microsoft and Apple beat out Amazon and VMware, which 8 percent and 6 percent of survey respondents, respectively, said they would use as part of their cloud computing deployments.

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"It appears that despite the popularity and 'rock star' appeal of Apple's products, most businesses still rely on Microsoft's products and software to operate on," Barry Sloane, president and CEO of Newtek, a direct distributor of a range of business services and financial products, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, survey respondents said the software application process that was most important to their business was e-mail, 43 percent; followed by Web applications and e-commerce apps, 26 percent; sales generation software, CRM and database management, 17 percent; and storage and backup, 14 percent.

"E-mail and e-commerce are the business applications of importance to most small businesses, and it is evident that business owners are starting to learn more about the benefits of cloud computing as well as utilizing this new technology," Sloan said in the statement.