Indian SMBs unaware of online alternatives

More than 50 percent of Indian small businesses in a recent poll have no knowledge of the availability of online personal productivity software.

Awareness of online personal productivity applications remains low among India's small and midsize businesses (SMBs), a new study reveals.

According to AMI-Partners' latest study, Will Small Businesses Buy the Online Office?, 53 percent of the 60 Indian respondents polled said they were not aware of online productivity applications such as ThinkFree and Zoho.

Author of the report Laurie McCabe said in a statement: "Inertia, potential security threats, and possible incompatibility between online documents and PC software serve as inhibitors to small businesses' adoption of online personal productivity solutions."

She also highlighted Internet connection and performance problems as potential barriers to adoption in India.

In the study, respondents cited time and cost savings, convenience, mobility and ease of use as benefits of using online applications.

Respondents indicated that they were more likely to consider online services, if there were pricing discounts and "a large enough pricing advantage over desktop solutions", said AMI-Partners. "A high percentage" of respondents also indicated a willingness to sit through advertisements in exchange for free use of online software, and there was strong interest in hybrid solutions that provide access via both desktop and Web interfaces.

Respondents in the United States, United Kingdom and Brazil were also polled in the study.