Survey: Small businesses confused about cloud computing and its benefits

Cloud computing services can have many benefits for companies, especially small businesses that don’t have much room in the budget for purchasing and managing internal IT infrastructure. But recent research says many smaller firms still don’t have a basic understanding of cloud computing and think the Cloud is meant for larger organizations. 

Recent surveys show that the majority of businesses are adopting cloud computing services and making the Cloud an essential part of their IT strategy. For example, 76% of CFOs say cloud computing will be important to their business’s success over the next 12 to 18 months, according to one Google survey. The benefits recognized by finance executives include cost savings, productivity boosts and increases to flexibility.

However, it seems that not all organizations are that enthusiastic about the Cloud.

Small businesses avoid cloud computing

Just 23% of small businesses have adopted cloud computing services, according to a recent survey conducted by AVG Technologies. In addition, just 21% are considering adopting a cloud service in the next year.

Why are smaller businesses adopting cloud computing at such a low rate, despite often being in the greatest need of cheaper and more scalable services? In contrast to other surveys, AVG’s poll says concerns about cloud security aren’t the main reason — just 19% of respondents said they fear a data breach in the Cloud.

Instead, one reason for those low numbers may be a lack of understanding about what cloud computing is and how it benefits companies.

Among the 1,000 U.S. and U.K. businesses with 100 or fewer employees surveyed by AVG, 20% believe that cloud computing services are geared mostly toward larger businesses. And 30% of the business leaders polled admitted that they don’t fully understand the Cloud.

As we mentioned in an earlier post, that lack of understanding can lead to non-IT leaders being duped by vendors’ so-called “cloudwashing,” or adding cloud computing terminology to existing services to make them more marketable. But as the AVG survey shows, it can also cause businesses to miss out on the Cloud’s benefits.

IT managers can help by sitting down with decision makers and educating them on cloud computing and its pros and cons.