A large portion of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have yet to take advantage of cloud computing, and may be missing out on potential revenue gains as a result, according to MYOB.
In research by Colmar Brunton, commissioned by the accounting software vendor, more than 1,000 Australian SMBs were surveyed, and only 16 percent of them were found to be using cloud computing — a 2 percent increase from July last year.
Only 38 percent of SMBs surveyed have a business website, according to the MYOB Business Monitor Survey report.
According to the study, SMBs that use cloud computing are much more likely to see an increase in revenue than those that don't.
"These ratios have increased significantly since the Business Monitor study conducted nine months ago, which suggests the gap in financial performance is widening between the online savvy and the online cautious," MYOB CEO Tim Reed said in a statement.
Those that are already in the cloud are also more likely to increase their business activities in the next year, such as focusing on customer retention strategies, adding more products and services to their portfolio, and boosting staff numbers, the report said.
But SMBs are already cottoning on to the cloud trend, and are actively moving their IT off-premises. OrionVM, which provides mainly white-label cloud services geared toward SMBs, said uptake from that particular market segment has been significant in the past years.
"Through our partners, we're actually seeing quite a lot of adoption, and we're seeing a lot of SMBs move things like point of sale (PoS), accounting, email, and so on, to the cloud," OrionVM managing director Sheng Yeo told ZDNet.
The cloud has its obvious benefits, one being that SMBs can avoid the capital expenditure required to replace ageing IT assets in the back end. Many SMBs may already be using cloud services without knowing it, according to Yeo.
"Cloud is being embraced heavily — it really depends who you talk to," he said. "There are SMBs using cloud hosting to deliver things like email all the way through to using Dropbox and Google Drive to host their files.
"A lot of them don't know it as cloud."
Ease of accessing data from anywhere was listed as the number one reason to use cloud computing by SMBs, according to the MYOB report.