Midmarket Companies Embracing Cloud Computing
A recent survey conducted among 1,100 IT professionals proves that midmarket companies are already making use of cloud services, although more sophisticated enterprise systems such as financial applications and ERP systems are not among the common services they deploy.
According to the report, entitled “Cloud of Dreams – Adoption of the Cloud by North American Midmarket Businesses,” 87% of respondents consider cloud computing the future model for IT. On average, midmarket businesses have 2.5 services deployed in the cloud, but about three quarters plan to add new or additional services over the coming three years. Moreover, over half of respondents who are still not convinced of the cloud’s usefulness and convenience say they would switch to cloud services by 2016.
About 70% of executives and IT directors of midmarket companies consider themselves “cloud believers,” according to the survey. And while IT managers emerged as a little less interested in the technology, 53% of them still defined themselves as “believers.”
While most companies already deploy at least one service in the cloud, in some organizations not everybody welcomes the idea of cloud computing, which highlights the need for more education and proofs that will resolve internal battles between premise advocates and cloud believers.
Cloud computing is most favored for its capacity to enhance scalability and flexibility, as identified by 70% of respondents. For 62% of the sample, the cloud also helps avoid disasters and ensures business continuity; while 57% believe its ability to defer hardware purchases is its top advantage.
While there is certainly an eagerness for companies to move to the cloud, there are also certain apprehensions. Security emerged as the top concern of 55% of the sample, while legal/compliance issues were identified as the biggest barrier to cloud deployment by 38% of businesses. Privacy was a cause for concern at 37% of companies and reliability/availability was cited by 33%.
Despite the challenges, many of the companies approached said they plan to boost investment in cloud deployment. More than 40% of respondents forecast an increase in their cloud budgets this year, with the share of those expecting to see a spike in cloud spending next year surging to 61.5%.
In order to move to the cloud, 27% of companies would rely on a cloud service provider and 21% would approach a value-added reseller or consultant to help with the task. Some 11% said they would use a data center/infrastructure provider, 5% would contact a network service provider and just 3.5% would go to a security service provider.
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