Microsoft commissioned comScore to conduct a blind survey of 107 UK SMEs that use the cloud and 105 that do not, with each firm possessing between 25 and 499 PCs. It said that 68% of SMEs that had moved services to the cloud had reported making savings, and that 58% and 49% respectively said they now used "fewer internal IT resources" and "spent less time managing IT overall" as a result of adopting the technology.
However, more than half (52%) of the companies that do not currently use the cloud said that data security concerns were "an inhibitor to adoption". The vast majority of SMEs (94%) that said they had adopted the cloud said, though, they had "experienced security benefits in the cloud that they didn’t have with their on-premises service, such as up-to-date systems, up-to-date antivirus protection and spam email management". In addition, more than half said that overall data security had improved, according to Microsoft's report on its cloud trust study.
Further barriers to adoption were also cited by the non-cloud using businesses, with 51% reportedly concerned about the reliability of cloud technology. According to Microsoft's report, 45% of SME that do not use the cloud also said they were concerned about "the lack of control over data in the cloud" and 31% said that concerns about regulatory compliance was a reason for not adopting a cloud solution.
A third of the non-cloud using firms said that industry standards for cloud security would help convince them to use cloud computing as part of their business, whilst 33% also said that Government regulation of the cloud would also be a factor that would increase the likelihood of them adopting the technology.
Cloud providers make it easier for businesses to meet their "compliance obligations", 92% of cloud-using SMEs said, whilst 91% said the security of their business had been "positively impacted" by cloud adoption, according to Microsoft's report.
Cloud adoption has also resulted in increased privacy protection for 68% of SMEs and 45% are "very comfortable" with the ability of their provider to "manage data privacy".