In a recent survey conducted by cloud-based business phone service provider RingCentral, it was determined that 57% of small business owners put their most important operations in the cloud.  Said survey, which involved 300 business owners, proves that cloud technology is becoming an important component of small business success as far as businessmen are concerned.

In fact, the polling performed by RingCentral spawned an infographic which also showed that:

62% of the Respondents Claim to Own a Tablet

There has been a veritable boom in tablet ownership over the past year.  In 2011, only 28% of the respondents claimed to have acquired and used tablets.  The factors that led to this jump likely involved the continuous improvement in cloud technology, the availability of smaller tablets, and the overall convenience of this “lighter” mobile technology.  That being said, respondents also admit that they primarily use tablet for basic browsing and emailing.

64% of the Respondents Feel They Can Work Remotely

Thanks to the concurrent rise in the popularity of the cloud and internet-friendly mobile devices (notably the smartphone and the tablet), 64% of business owners believe they don’t have to physically be in the office to make sure that it’s running.  Being able to manage one’s company from anywhere at any time not only gives owners peace of mind, but also leads to more efficient turnover processes and problem solving.

60% of the Respondents Handle IT on Their Own    

The trend in favor of more intelligent mobile hardware and the cloud has also made it easier for individuals to handle their own IT processes.  That is to say, internet technology has become so user-friendly that small businesses can do without hiring an IT manager, internal or consultant.  This frees up some resources that can be invested in what can be regarded as more crucial aspects of the enterprise.  And speaking of user-friendliness…

There Are 4 Main Types of Cloud-Based Apps the Respondents Rely On

Not every cloud-based app can be useful to a company, and this survey shows that the four main applications that can truly help a business are:

  • Document Sharing Apps (67% of respondents use it) – Dropbox and Box are considered valuable as programs because it allows people to access important information associated with the company without having to leave one’s house.  Out of all the apps, this most effectively demonstrates how a person can perform tasks and solve problems from anywhere, at any time.
  • Online Meeting Collaboration (65% of respondents use this) – GoToMeeting and WebEx allows entire teams to conduct meetings and presentations without requiring everyone’s physical presence in the conference room.  This is exceptionally ideal for non-traditional businesses that employ people out of town, or whose workers are required to travel constantly.
  • Payroll (50% of respondents use this) – PayCycle and Paychex allow businesses to keep track of compensation and pay schedules without paper.  They help people calculate payroll and generate paychecks without bogging down your office computer system.
  • Document Creation (48% of respondents use this) – GoogleDocs and Microsoft Office 365 allows users to produce documents directly on the browser, without having to save copies on hardware.

It really does look like 2012 is the year of the cloud, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses.

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