A new study examines how small and midsize businesses are using cloud services and the most significant opportunities for service providers in this space.
The 2015 U.S. cloud services market for SMBs encompasses more than 7 million SMBs that spend on average $3,323 annually on their cloud services.
32% of SMBs use hosted servers. Top triggers for IaaS include business model changes, and in-house servers did not do enough or had too many challenges.
SMBs with in-house servers said price (48%), security and privacy (34%), and legacy systems and other tech concerns (24%) are the top barriers to moving to a hosted solution.
SMBs buy IaaS via Web hosters (47%), local IT sources (VARs) (21%), pure cloud providers (10%) and telco/cable companies (6%). Purchases are conducted online (47%), by phone (22%), via VARs (13%) and through direct sales (10%).
The most important factors in selecting a service provider include price (36%), existing relationship (21%), ease of management (15%) and security (14%).
54% of SMBs would pay an additional $10 per month for unlimited storage, and 47% would pay an additional $10 per month for high availability.
84% of SMBs have a Website hosted by a third-party. Key factors SMBs consider when selecting a Web hoster include price (62%), customer experience (32%), existing relationship (23%) and security (17%).
Top Website add-ons in 2015 include search engine optimization (SEO) (36%), backup (26%), security (24%), Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) (20%), e-commerce (15%) and content management (13%).
65% of SMBs’ business email is hosted by a service provider, 23% use a free service and 7% is hosted on an in-house server. What’s more, 54% of third-party hosted email is bundled with Website hosting or a hosted server.
82% of SMBs don’t use hosted business voice services (hosted PBX services).
SMBs said the biggest barriers to hosted voice services are price (53%), lack of knowledge (46%), concerns about complexity (17%) and technical concerns (13%).
In 2015, SMBs are using instant collaboration (39%), Web conferencing (24%) and mobile-device (2%) management. In 2018, use of these apps will grow to 41%, 27% and 6%, respectively.
The number of SMBs without SaaS dropped from 32% to 28% in the past year. Key factors in selecting business apps include price, features and capabilities, business need and customer experience.
The most popular cloud app is file sharing (35%), but only 17% of SMBs pay for this service. In comparison, online CRM is used by only 6% of SMBs, but 83% of users pay for it.
Other popular cloud apps include payroll and HR (28%), online accounting (28%), and online backup and storage (27%).