Survey: More Than Half of UK SMBs Don't Fully Understand Cloud

The results may be contributing to slow cloud adoption in the region.

Although cloud computing is allegedly on every business's mind these days, the reality is that more than half of small and midsize business (SMB) managers in the United Kingdom don't have a good grasp of cloud technology.

That's the finding of a survey of 749 decision makers conducted by business software and services provider Sage Ltd. Rob Davis blogged about the findings, noting that 57 percent of SMB managers said they have a "partial" understanding of cloud technology. Oon the other hand, 41 percent said they fully get the cloud. These findings, Davis wrote, point to a "pervasive knowledge gap among SMBs that threatens to hold back cloud adoption."

A significant reason for the slow uptake of cloud computing, Davis said, is security and fear of where data is stored. He said that those managers should take comfort; he claims that "there's a growing argument to be had that cloud is no less secure than on-premises."

Davis pointed to what he said are "millions of pounds" spent on cloud security by providers. Those safeguards, he wrote, are often more strict than what companies have in-house.

He had some advice for SMBs that aren't actively investigating the benefits of the cloud because of security or other fears: "What a business should do is look at the benefits of cloud first, and then look at realizing those benefits matched against their security concerns or requirements. It's not all-or-nothing … This research has shown there is still a long way to go in demystifying the cloud for many businesses, but it will not be long before these cloud prospects have the confidence to take that leap of faith."

Another survey indicates that as companies get more familiar with cloud technologies, the security fears tend to recede. Cloud management company RightScale Inc. reported earlier this year that "cloud beginners" said that security was the greatest challenge, with 31 percent holding that opinion. In contrast, "cloud-focused" companies saw security as the fifth-biggest hurdle at just 13 percent. The top concern for those companies, at 18 percent, was compliance.


About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.


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