It seems that small and medium businesses (SMBs) are really getting into the groove with everything cloud computing; great news for cloud service providers targeting the SMB market, too! This article will guide you through the small business cloud trends, and how mobile technologies and devices are playing important roles in driving the cloud trends…
As reported by Datamation, a survey conducted by RingCentral, a cloud-based business phone services provider, reveals that the majority of SMB owners are more than eager to adopt cloud computing by having their important business applications hosted in the cloud. Moreover, 57 percent of respondents claimed that they are using cloud-based services for more than half of their business applications, such as file sharing, collaboration, and payroll management.
Tablets’ role in cloud computing adoption
It seems that cloud service providers need to thank tablets’ ever growing popularity. RingCentral’s 2012 mobile survey reveals that there is an explosion in tablet PC ownership, from 28 percent in 2011 to 62 percent in 2012.
Here’s the key finding with regard to the cloud services: 53 percent of respondents are using their tables many times in a day to take notes, check email and browse the web; indeed, your IPad is now also an important business tool.
Small business apps in the cloud: The trends
Here’s another supporting trend: The rise of mobile workforce.
Today, employees are motivated by the fact that they are allowed to work off-premise and bring their own device to work. With the RingCentral survey findings, those things lead to the following trends:
1. Cloud-enabled flexibility and productivity
Enter cloud working; with your critical business applications in the cloud, your employees can now plug into your small business cloud wherever they are, whenever they want – remotely. Those lead to flexible work arrangements, as well as increased productivity.
2. Bring your own device (BYOD)
BYOD a new, emerging lingo, explaining a growing trend of employees who love (and want the perks) to bring their own tablets and other mobile devices to work. BYOD will allow employees to work with their favorite tablets, with their favorite business apps. Those are great things, but BYOD pose a threat to SMBs, in term of security and compatibility.
3. IT managers’ extinction?
According to the same RingCentral survey, 60 percent respondents said that they don’t have IT manager; their business apps are now managed by the cloud service providers.
4. Data jurisdiction issues
As SMBs trust their cloud service providers more, there’s still a lingering issue with their data in the cloud: Data jurisdiction issues. The question would be: Who is responsible for my sensitive data in the cloud? Should it be regulated by the cloud providers’ local cloud laws? The more important question: Is there really a strong regulation about my data in the cloud?
5. The cloud is safer than ever?
Security remains one of the top issues in having your data and critical business functions in the cloud. You need to be aware that the cloud is not without loopholes. Data breach, compromised privacy, stolen access, etc. still scare many SMB owners. However, cloud service providers are continuously improving the security of their cloud offers. So, be sure to partner with cloud services that properly secure your business apps and data in the cloud. Alternatively, go private cloud.
It seems that SMB owners are embracing the fact that running a business remotely using mobile devices will become mainstream in the near future. The surveys reveal that SMBs’ choices are now limited into 2 options: Adopt the cloud or die.
So, how about you? Will you embrace the cloud? Are you still considering the cloud as a fad, even a counter-productive tech advances? Please share your thoughts by leaving your comment on this article.