SMBs continue pursuing cloud computing

When cloud computing first emerged, it was recognized as a technology meant to help smaller organizations gain a competitive advantage over rival enterprises that were able to spend more money pursuing next-generation endeavors. While these capabilities are still available, the cloud can do more than just reduce costs for small businesses, as the hosted technology can also support the ability to generate more revenue.

A recent study of more than 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) by Colmar Brunton on behalf of MYOB revealed that approximately 16 percent of respondents are now using cloud technologies, up slightly from similar research conducted in July 2012. In fact, these organizations using the cloud are 106 percent more likely to generate greater amounts of revenue than last year than organizations not leveraging the hosted services.

"Our research findings provide a clear cut case for embracing online technologies in business," said Tim Reed, CEO of MYOB. "The latest study reveals SMBs using cloud were twice as likely to see a revenue rise in the past year than those who aren't."

The cloud's monetary perks
Because the cloud enables SMBs to have more spending money, decision-makers are allocating those resources to the pursuit of innovative strategies meant to improve overall operations. The survey revealed that approximately 52 percent of organizations using the cloud intend to invest more heavily in customer retention and acquisition projects, compared to only 34 percent that are not using the cloud.

Another 33 percent of SMBs leveraging cloud servers stated they have plans to increase the number of products and services they offer next year, while only 24 percent of firms not using the cloud intend to do the same, MYOB reported.

A separate study by Spiceworks found that as SMB budgets increase, decision-makers are given more freedom to follow through on investments in advanced technologies like cloud computing.

"The world's SMBs continue to increase their investment in new technologies, including tablet devices, smartphones, cloud services and virtualization," said Jay Hallberg, co-founder and vice president of marketing for Spiceworks. "The results of our research bode well for the industry as new technologies become more pervasive and prompt IT departments to make additional investments."

In the coming years, SMB executives will likely grow more confident in the cloud and, as a result, invest more heavily in the technology that promises to deliver substantial financial benefits. By planning deployments carefully, decision-makers can ensure their use of the hosted services capitalizes on all possible advantages.

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