Are SMBs Facing A Crisis Of Cloud Confidence? - InformationWeek

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6/30/2009
09:53 AM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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Are SMBs Facing A Crisis Of Cloud Confidence?

Cloud computing is often thought of as the perfect option for small businesses. But a new survey shows that small businesses share many of the cloud computing concerns of their larger competitors, including security, availability, and speed.

Cloud computing is often thought of as the perfect option for small businesses. But a new survey shows that small businesses share many of the cloud computing concerns of their larger competitors, including security, availability, and speed.The survey, conducted earlier this month by Egnyte, a provider of on-demand file servers, reveals that 9 out of 10 small businesses do not have complete trust in cloud computing. Top cloud computing concerns for SMBs include not being able to get at data during Internet outages, security, slow performance, and possible data loss.

cloud fears SMB cloud computing fears center around outages, security, and speed.

The data also indicated that small businesses are more dependent on the Internet than many people believe, with more than 70% saying that even an hour-long Internet outage would have moderate (51%) or severe (20%) impact on their operations. Some 99% said Internet disruptions would have at least some impact on their company .

Not surprisingly, trust and security ranks as SMB's most important criteria for cloud computing vendors, followed by ease of use, price and performance, customer service, and scalability.

So, what do cloud computing vendors need to do to reassure SMBs? Two thirds of small businesses suggest creating hybrid online/offline applications that remain available even when the Internet isn't. More than are looking for live, 24/7 customer service and a quarter would like to see formal certifications. Customer ratings and money-back guarantees didn't cut it, with fewer than 10% of SMBs being satisified with those measures.

None of this is too radical, but it does suggest that just because SMBs are small, they're still plenty demanding in their cloud computing requirements. And that's a good thing.

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