Mobile access, flexibility trumps cost for cloud-watching SMBs

Mobile and flexible working, not cost, are the main reasons for small and medium sized businesses moving to the cloud, according to YouGov research.

Lower cost is no longer the major reason for adopting the cloud for SMBs, with them instead focusing on improving business outcomes and bringing strategic value, says the research.

Two-thirds (67 per cent) of the 530 SMB senior managers in the United Kingdom surveyed had either already implemented cloud services or anticipated they would do so in the future, with 30 per cent looking to do so within the next two years.

The increased ability for employees to work with greater mobility and flexibility was identified as the most popular reason to implement cloud services (39 per cent), with cost efficiencies named as the second most popular reason (33 per cent).

Of those who had not yet moved towards the cloud, the main reason given for the delay was “lack of time” (38 per cent). With smaller, over-stretched IT departments, respondents felt unable to devote sufficient time to fully investigate the technical and business implications of moving to a cloud-based work model.

The survey was sponsored by IBM, which predicts that by 2015 there will be one trillion cloud-ready devices globally.
Simon Porter, vice president for mid market sales at IBM, said: “Businesses are beginning to realise that the full potential of cloud goes far beyond a cost-focused ROI model.

“They are also increasingly looking at how the cloud can help expedite the move to a more mobile way of working for their employees, using smartphone and tablets to access key applications while creating a more flexible work/life balance.”

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