As IT budgets continue to unfreeze and small- and medium-sized businesses find themselves with a little more spending money, many are turning to cloud computing solutions to enhance their operations.
According to a recent study by IT social business Spiceworks, cloud adoption among SMBs has doubled in the last six months. As of the first quarter of 2011, 28 percent of SMBs deployed at least one cloud computing service, up from 14 percent in the second half of 2010.
This jump surpassed earlier estimates by Spiceworks. In July, the social network predicted SMB cloud adoption would total only 24 percent.
Additionally, Spiceworks expects cloud adoption to continue to increase at a high rate in the next six months, with SMB cloud adoption predicted to reach 42 percent by mid-2011.
Spiceworks’ figures differ significantly from another recent report by Microsoft. According to that study, 29 percent of SMBs currently pay for at least one cloud computing service. However, Microsoft predicts slower growth moving forward, with only 39 percent of SMBs planning to adopt cloud solutions by 2014.
As with larger businesses, many SMBs are turning to the cloud to reduce IT costs and enhance their business capabilities. In 2010, Cisco released a report stating that the cloud enables SMBs to access enterprise-grade IT solutions, such as SaaS, data storage and security.
“The cloud has enabled a lot of new technologies and capabilities that can be delivered to small business at a price point that makes sense for them,” said Cisco vice president of small business technology Susan Scheer Aoki.
Additionally, the cloud can simplify IT solutions for SMBs, many of which do not have the resources or personnel to handle complex systems. This, according to Cisco’s report, enables SMBs to focus more on business rather than IT.