Concerns about cloud computing security are often cited as a key obstacle for cloud adoption in many businesses. According to a recent study, however, there may be another central challenge – lack of education about the cloud.
The study, conducted by Newtek Business Services, surveyed approximately 1,800 respondents in independent small businesses, finding that the level of awareness about what cloud computing has to offer is low.
Approximately 71 percent of those polled indicated that they had never heard of cloud computing at all. This may not be a precise reflection of cloud adoption levels, since some businesses may be using cloud-based tools without being aware of the term. Nevertheless, it could indicate that there is much room for greater education about cloud computing technology.
Of those respondents who said they had heard of cloud computing, approximately 26 percent were able to describe what it is.
For many small companies, data protection and backup solutions are potentially business-saving tools that are relatively affordable. Just 29 percent of respondents, however, said they keep backups of business-critical data off-site.
Barry Sloane, president and CEO of Newtek, said cloud computing is one of the most important upcoming trends in the U.S. economy. Knowledge of cloud tools will be critical for large and small businesses alike in the coming years, according to Sloane. This, he said, makes it essential that business owners begin familiarizing themselves with the technology.
"Business owners will need to understand what the cloud is and what it can do for their businesses in the areas of cost control, data security, data protection, accessibility, efficiency and productivity to facilitate a smooth running technological platform for their business," Sloane said.
According to another recent report, cloud computing adoption is indeed on the rise in the United States. The study, published by CDW, found that 84 percent of U.S. organizations have deployed at least one cloud-based application.