SMB Cloud Computing – Seven Key Trends

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Techaisle SMB Cloud computing survey identifies seven key trends as SMB cloud penetration and workload density continues to increase rapidly.

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SMB's IT realities have changed in the last five years. Today, an increasing proportion of infrastructure and applications are rented rather than purchased, sourced with OPEX funds from remote suppliers.

Techaisle’s unique survey of SMBs in US, Canada, Germany and Australia shows seven key SMB cloud computing trends. Techaisle, a global SMB market research and industry analyst organization, surveyed roughly equal numbers of business decision makers (BDMs) and IT decision makers (ITDMs), asking both groups to provide a “360° perspective” on the critical IT/business trends within their organizations. Seven key SMB cloud computing trends are:

Trend 1: Why is cloud being used by SMBs: In many SMB organizations, cloud may have first been introduced as a means of reducing CAPEX and/or overall IT costs, but today, it is viewed by SMBs as a means of increasing business agility and of introducing capabilities that would have been cost or time-prohibitive to deploy on traditional technology. Companies in the “middle” of the SMB market – those with 50-250 employees – emphasize the ability of cloud to make IT staff more productive, while smaller and larger organizations are primarily interested in enabling business staff.

Trend 2: Who is driving cloud adoption: Techaisle’s research shows that ITDMs are primarily responsible for cloud’s platform technologies – IaaS, and virtualization and mobile device management – and that they share authority for SaaS with BDMs. However, the capabilities based on these foundational technologies – mobility, Big Data, BI/analytics, collaboration and social media – are largely directed by BDMs. BDMs also have taken a leadership role in the solution process steps (need identification, strategic and operational planning, even evaluation) that lead to a sale. ITDMs retain responsibility for deployment and training, but optimization is now also primarily the responsibility of BDMs.

Trend 3: What kinds of cloud are in use: Our research shows that SMBs use a mix of public, private and hybrid clouds – and that organizations often use two or three of these approaches simultaneously. The data suggests that the cloud deployment process starts with the business requirement, and moves back to the deployment model – rather than starting with a platform, and expanding across incremental workloads. If cloud selection is not a “religious issue”, then accounts are not won or lost at a single platform decision – they are won or lost on a workload-by-workload basis.

Trend 4: When will cloud usage patterns change and how: Our analysis demonstrates the coming dominance of hybrid as a delivery model – which drives increased demand for both public and private cloud as well – and projects high-growth forecasts for cloud storage, data backup and cloud security at a workload level, and for vertical applications, content publishing, CRM and BI/analytics in SaaS.

Trend 5: Roles and responsibilities through the cloud security process: A troublingly-substantial proportion of small businesses either does not know who is responsible for specific security activities or believe that the requirements do not apply to their businesses, and both small and medium businesses demonstrate an over-reliance on cloud suppliers.

Trend 6: Attributes of successful cloud solutions: Techaisle’s survey results clearly demonstrate that small and medium businesses view support for mobility (and information access generally) as a key attribute of cloud success. Small businesses are also focused on the inherent cloud capability to deliver backup, continuity and disaster recovery, while mid-market firms view access to scalable compute and storage resources as a key cloud success attribute. BDMs view continuity/backup/DR (and security) as key cloud deliverables – likely, as a result of a need to bridge the gap between setting policy and managing security processes while ITDMs demonstrate relatively acute interest in whether their cloud providers can deliver integration with physical systems and support for managed IT environments.

Trend 7: Key inhibitor in using cloud: Security and control over data are two key inhibitors for accelerating the use of cloud, but the data indicates that BDMs can be persuaded that cloud contributes to better security.

Techaisle’s report titled SMB and Mid-Market Cloud Computing Adoption Trend is available for purchase for individual countries. As a minimum the report covers:

  •     Benefits & Inhibitors of Cloud Adoption: Why is Cloud Being Used? Why Not Cloud?

        o    Drilling down into small business and mid-market perceptions of Cloud benefit
        o    The intramural divide: ITDM vs. BDM perceptions
        o    Inhibitors: Why not use Cloud?
        o    ITDM and BDM inhibitors

  •     IT or Business: Who is driving SMB Cloud adoption?
  •     Private, Public or Hybrid: What is in use and planned to be used?

        o    Adoption of hybrid
        o    Aligning Cloud delivery with requirements

  •     Current & Planned Cloud Applications: Where is Cloud being deployed?

        o    Understanding the gateway to new platform and/or business specific capabilities
        o    Key Cloud applications and workloads by employee size
        o    Vertical workloads becoming ubiquitous; Role of content publishing, CRM
        o    Differences in small business and mid-market SaaS adoption patterns
        o    Free vs. paid Cloud applications

  •     SMB Cloud Future: When will Cloud usage patterns change – and how?

        o    Overcoming Cloud Adoption barriers
        o    Tracing the trajectory SMB Cloud usage: Where are we heading from here?
        o     Workload and application perspectives

  •     SMB Cloud Security Management

        o    Roles and responsibilities in Cloud security management
        o    Mid-market – management responsibility is increasing

  •     Key attributes of Successful SMB Cloud solutions

        o    Assessing success: key Cloud solution elements
        o    Difference in needs across small and mid-market businesses
        o    BDM and ITDM perspectives

Link to the blog article.

About Techaisle
Techaisle is an SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization. Techaisle was founded on the premise that Go-to-Market strategies require insightful research, flexible data, and deeper analysis. Understanding the value of data consistency across markets to inform strategic planning, Techaisle has remained holistic in its approach to Insights and provides globally consistent SMB and Channels analysis across geographies. Techaisle's insights are built on strong data-driven foundation. To achieve its objectives Techaisle conducts surveys with SMBs and channels to understand market trends, opportunities, buying behavior, purchase intent, business issues and IT priorities. Techaisle's SMB and Channel partner studies cover cloud computing, managed services, mobility, collaboration, virtualization, business intelligence, analytics, big data, networking and data centers. Techaisle offers its clients: Syndicated Research, Custom Primary Research, Consulting Engagement, Competitive Intelligence, Segmentation and Predictive Analytics services. For more information on Techaisle or its global products/services, please visit, and our blogs at

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Anurag Agrawal
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