Businesses Indecisive on Cloud Computing Benefits: Report

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents to a survey of small business owners say they don't think cloud computing can help reduce their IT costs.

Nearly half of small business owners do not believe cloud computing will help reduce their IT costs, according to a June survey of 1,000 independent business owners by Newtek Business Services.

Newtek's Authority Market Sentiment Survey, a monthly window into the concerns of independent business owners, found that educating small independent business owners regarding the benefits of cloud computing still has a long way to go. In addition, 42 percent of business owners surveyed prefer the Small Business Authority’s and Microsoft’s Cloud Product over Apple’s iCloud. The survey results also found nearly half (48 percent) of businesses surveyed currently or historically use Microsoft business software products or server operating systems.

The most important software application process to businesses is email (43 percent), followed by Web applications and e-commerce applications (26 percent); sales generation software, CRM and database management (17 percent); and storage and backup (14 percent). Forty-eight percent of respondents said they didn’t think cloud computing could help reduce their IT costs, while 20 percent said it could and 32 percent said they weren’t sure.

"It appears that despite the popularity and 'rockstar' appeal of Apple’s products, most businesses still rely on Microsoft’s products and software to operate on," said Barry Sloane, president and CEO of Newtek, a direct distributor of a range of business services and financial products. "Email and e-commerce are the business applications of importance to most small businesses, and it is evident that business owners are starting to learn more about the benefits of cloud computing as well as utilizing this new technology."

A recent report from cloud computing experts from IEEE, a technical professional association, said the greatest challenge facing longer-term adoption of cloud computing services is not security, but rather cloud interoperability and data portability. At the same time, IEEE's experts say cloud providers could reassure customers by improving the tools they offer enterprise customers to give them more control over their own data and applications while offering a security guarantee.