SMB cloud usage nears 50 percent (survey)

Web hosting and email remain the most popular cloud services among small businesses, but data backup and recovery services are becoming more coveted.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Close to half of small and midsize businesses (48 percent) are using at least one cloud-delivered IT service, according to an SMB IT trends survey conducted twice each year by Spiceworks.

That figure was up dramatically from the first half of 2011, when 28 percent of SMBs reported that they used some sort of cloud service.

The latest version of the IT professional social network's bi-annual State of SMB IT survey was conducted among 1,500 IT professionals. About 60 percent of the respondents work for companies with 20 to 249 employees; about 20 percent of them work for companies with less than 20 employees. The respondents came from companies based all around the world.

The five most commonly used cloud services among the SMB set surveyed by Spiceworks were:

  • Web hosting
  • Email hosting
  • Data backup
  • Content filtering
  • Application hosting

When it comes to future purchases, the SMB respondents pointed to planned purchases of cloud data backup, application hosting, data storage and email hosting.

The Spiceworks survey echoed numerous other research that shows tablet computers are a much coveted SMB technology item: 62 percent of the respondents reported that they have deployed or plan to deploy a tablet device by the end of 2012. That was up from 50 percent of respondents who said the same thing when Spiceworks conducted its survey during the second half of 2012.

Related to that finding: 75 percent of the respondents said they are managing and supporting personal mobile devices that their employees are using for professional purchases. That doesn't mean they like it: only 20 percent of the respondents embrace the bring your own device trend, while 35 percent "concede" that it works well for some gadgets, but not others.

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