small-business-cloud-adoption|Photo Courtesy ofDepositphotos.comhttp://depositphotos.com/13953286/stock-photo-Blue-cloud-computing-keyboard-key-technology-background.html?sqc=3Growing companies are finding that cloud technologies deliver needed services while helping them save money and reduce IT maintenance. Large and small companies are equally enthusiastic about running aspects of their operations in the cloud, but compared to large enterprises it’s often easier for a small business to make the move.

Cloud adoption doubled among small- and medium-size businesses from 2011 to 2012, according to a recent article on the BizTech Magazine website. The figures derive from a recent CDW survey of 1,242 IT decision-makers. Those surveyed say they’re adopting cloud applications and services to cut costs and increase efficiency, improve employee mobility, create innovation opportunities and free up IT staff for other projects.

The top cloud services adopted by small businesses are data storage (40 percent) followed by conferencing and collaboration (37 percent) and messaging (36 percent). For a small business, it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to set up a cloud backup service. A large enterprise company, on the other hand, has a lot of requirements and infrastructure that can make the actual implementation more complex.

For small businesses, when it comes to data security, they tend to ask two main questions.

  1. Is my data encrypted? Yes. Companies should be more concerned about how they’re using encryption in their own offices and locations.
  2. How secure are data centers? If someone really wants to steal your data, it would be much easier to break into your office and steal your hard drive than to break into a data center and crack a 128-bit encryption. When your data is backed up to the cloud, your data is replicated on multiple disks in multiple locations. Many cloud data backup companies own and staff all of the servers. In case of a power outage, batteries typically provide a backup power source, followed by gasoline-fueled generators.

It’s no wonder more small businesses are finding opportunities to cut costs and increase efficiency, and a chance to free up IT staff for other projects by using cloud services. And most large enterprises would follow, too, especially if they were as nimble as SMBs.

Has your business moved to the cloud? If so, what benefits has your company gained, and what advice do you have for others that might be considering the cloud?

Source: BizTech Magazine, March 2013