April 6 2011

Nearly 40 percent of global SMBs will pay for one or more cloud computing services within the next three years, a Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) survey revealed in late March.  This global average is far behind pcit’s customer base where 100% of our customer’s use cloud services.

According to Microsoft’s SMB Cloud Adoption Study 2011, which polled more than 3,000 SMBs with 250 or fewer employees in 16 countries, including the U.S., 39 percent will leverage at least one cloud service within three years. That percentage coincides with other market estimations that predicts the SMB market will be the fastest growing segment for cloud adoption in coming years.

The 39 percent of SMBs expected to utilize cloud services is an increase over the 29 percent that currently use at least one cloud computing offering, Microsoft’s research found. Additionally, Microsoft found that the number of cloud services that SMBs will pay for will nearly double in many countries over the next three years. Comparing these results to pcit’s customer base where 100% currently use 2 cloud services or more suggests we are remaining competitive in the IT solution provider marketplace.

Overall, Microsoft’s survey found that the SMBs that move to the cloud will use an average of 3.3 services each, up from less than two services today. And the larger the business is on the SMB spectrum, the more it will pay for cloud services. Microsoft said that 56 percent of companies with between 51 and 250 employees will pay for an average of 3.7 cloud services within three years.

Not every service or every server belongs in the cloud however.  This is especially true in the Peace Region where limited internet bandwidth is a very real design consideration.  In communities like High Level, redundant internet connections or alternative internet service providers are not possible.  Even Microsoft, who publically is very cloud focused, recognizes that not every application belongs in a cloud-based date centre.  They estimate that 43 percent of workloads will become paid cloud services, yet 28 percent will remain on-premise while 29 percent will be free or bundled with other services.

“Cloud adoption will be gradual, and SMBs will continue to operate in a hybrid model with an increasing blend between off-premises and traditional on-premises infrastructure, for the foreseeable future,” Marco Limena, Microsoft vice president in its Worldwide Communications Sector, said in a statement.

The increased interested in the cloud from SMBs is due to new opportunities for organizations to leverage services in the cloud, like e-mail, collaboration, data storage and back-up.  Navigating the volume of solutions entering the marketplace hasn’t made IT simpler in our opinion.  Our view of cloud-based solutions is that IT begins to become more complex on many fronts.  Managing security, functionality and best in class solutions requires planning, expertise and the ability to recognize how technology solutions can become business solutions with a tangible Return on Investment.

 

Written by Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer is the founder and president of pcit.

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