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Survey Suggests SMB Market Embracing Cloud for Data Storage

New survey data from Clutch suggest the SMB market sees the cloud as a better way to store data.

Focusing on the SMB market – firms composed of 11 to 1,000 employees – the survey reveals that more than half of small businesses had adopted cloud storage by October of this year. Clutch’s survey included 744 respondents from SMBs in the United States, including 438 that use cloud storage.

Security and compliance concerns also shape how small businesses use the cloud. These concerns impact cloud storage-adoption trends in the SMB market and may discourage cloud use, according to Clutch.

Clutch's Sarah PatrickSarah Patrick, marketing analyst with Clutch, tells Channel Partners that partners can benefit from understanding “a key incongruence between the necessity of compliance and the cloud storage service providers of choice for SMBs.”

“Sixty-one percent of SMBs said that they need their cloud storage services to be compliant to a standard,” she said. “At the same time, SMBs indicated that Apple iCloud is the most satisfactory cloud storage service provider. However, Apple iCloud leaves users responsible for compliance. This demonstrates an incompatibility between what SMBs need in a cloud storage service provider and how they approach their cloud storage service selection process.”

The most popular cloud storage service provider for SMBs is Dropbox, followed by Google Drive, Apple iCloud and Microsoft OneDrive. Brand recognition and ease of use play key roles in the selection process.

Most respondents ranked backup and access to files from multiple devices as top priorities. In addition, nearly half (48 percent) indicated that they use a mobile device to access data their firm stores in the cloud.

Patrick said she was most surprised to learn that nearly half of SMBs do not use cloud storage.

“Cloud storage offers numerous benefits to the SMB market, specifically a more cost-effective way to store, back up and manage information, and a more efficient way to communicate and collaborate among employees,” she said.

Small businesses may not understand how to leverage cloud storage, said Dave Linthicum, senior vice president of Cloud Technology Partners.

“I think many small businesses will actually avoid the cloud if there are other alternatives that are easier for them to understand,” he said.


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