Most small and medium businesses are still a bit foggy on how to use cloud services to increase productivity.
While close to 20 percent of U.S. SMBs said they thought cloud services were only for large companies, about one-third reported that they do not understand cloud services at all, according to new research by AVG Technologies.
This research, which was conducted among more than 1,000 SMBs in the U.K. and U.S., revealed that many of the businesses may be missing out on opportunities to improve their companies and stay in control of IT security. Researchers found that about 42 percent of U.S. SMBs are spending up to four hours per week dealing with IT issues, including security, rather than entrusting these matters to service providers.
The study also found that only one-fourth of SMBs use cloud services, but more than three-fourths said they were open to new technology to make life easier.
Along with the lack of understanding of cloud services, other factors cited for why U.S. SMBs do not take advantage of the cloud include: cost (21 percent), lack of trust (18 percent), and the belief the services are too complicated (nearly 10 percent).
"This research shows that the IT industry still has a long way to go before SMBs fully appreciate how much they could gain from cloud services," said Dan Matthews, business journalist, author and small business owner.
"In these uncertain economic times it is important that SMBs make the most of IT services to help them stay secure, increase productivity and keep up with the latest advances in an ever changing business landscape," he added.
For SMBs that do use cloud services, those used most include sharing/collaboration tools (64 percent), storage (34 percent) and iPad/mobile apps (32 percent), the research revealed.