SMBs must be proactive in cloud adoption strategies

The cloud is slowly becoming the norm for how companies operate, but it still has a ways to go. While many enterprises are already leveraging the technology, small and medium-sized businesses are still getting their feet wet because they are unfamiliar with the hosted services, according to a report by MYOB.

"Our research shows one in four [SMBs] feel they don't know enough about the issues surrounding cloud computing to make the right business decisions and one in six lack the confidence to explore it," said Tim Reed, CEO of MYOB. "Perhaps just as concerning is that one in five are interested but say there are other more important business priorities to take care of first."

To eliminate some of the concerns, decision-makers need to be proactive and speak with service providers about a firm's specific options.

Confidence through diligence
SMB executives need to prioritize security, MYOB noted. This isn't necessarily because the cloud is inherently flawed, but rather that SMBs are targeted more often by cybercrime due to a lack of awareness and/or understanding about the malicious landscape.

"The concerns around security of business data in the cloud are understandable when they come from fear of the unknown. Research into the credibility of cloud providers is essential," Reed said. "There's plenty of helpful information, resources and support to help make more informed business decisions and this will only increase as these technologies becomes even more commonplace."

Decision-makers may also consider leveraging different cloud models. Some organizations may benefit from the private cloud, while others appreciate hybrid environments that combine both public and private landscapes.

The hybrid model, in particular, is gaining momentum in the private sector as companies of all sizes can benefit from using multiple cloud models simultaneously.

A separate report by eprobe Research echoed the sentiment that hybrid hosted services are widely considered to be the next major wave in cloud computing, as it enables decision-makers to move resources from private to public environments when necessary. As a result, SMBs using the technology will experience fewer latency and bandwidth issues.

As the cloud continues to make an impact on the private sector, SMBs need to be attentive and aware of their specific demands to ensure their use of the cloud is not inappropriate or in vain. 

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