Survey shows cloud computing inadequately marketed to SMEs.

A new report has shown that cloud computing vendors are failing to engage with small and medium sized UK based enterprises (SMEs) and as a result are predicting more demand in the sector than there actually is.

Over 250 SMEs participated in a survey carried out by GFI Software. According to the results there is still a considerable degree of confusion as to the benefits that cloud computing can offer SMEs, with IT professionals working in this sector unable to appreciate or recommend switching to the cloud.

The survey’s most significant finding is that only 12 per cent of UK SMEs are actually being deterred from cloud computing because of security concerns. This is still the second highest reason given, but the overriding worry is that businesses will be tied to a single vendor for an inordinate amount of time when signing up for a cloud-based service.

The cost-cutting capabilities of the cloud, which are relatively well publicised, are also poorly appreciated by SMEs according to the study, which shows that 56 per cent of those questioned are happy to maintain their internal systems for data backup and storage.

SMEs understand that by adopting a cloud-based platform they will be benefiting from the experience of the vendor, in addition to sharing the accountability for data protection with another entity. However, total cloud migration is a rarity, with many choosing to combine in-house and outsourced systems in a hybrid approach.

86 per cent of firms with over 100 staff say that they are either signed up with a cloud vendor, or have plans to do so in the future. However, amongst those with fewer than 99 employees this figure falls to 69 per cent, and still further to 39 per cent for SMEs with 10 people and below.

GFI’s Walter Scott blamed the excessive use of jargon and confusing advertising for the slower uptake of cloud computing amongst SMEs in the UK. He also points to fear tactics employed by vendors who supply on-site technology to businesses as a contributing factor to mistrust and confusion.

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