Most SMBs have no plan to use cloud-based office suite

Despite the persistence of Google Apps and Microsoft’s move to a software-as-a-service model for Office, most small and medium-sized businesses still say they have no plans to adopt a cloud based productivity suite, according to a new report.

When asked if their company uses or plans to use any cloud-based productivity suite for word processing, spreadsheets, etc., 64 per cent of IT workers responded “nope.” Another 15 per cent plan to use a cloud suite, but aren’t sure when. Six per cent will do so within six months and 14 per cent already use one.

The survey was conducted across 323 Spiceworks users located around the world, a little more than half of which were based in North America. The survey was conducted over July. Spiceworks calls itself the largest social business network for IT pros that offers free network management software, and says IT workers spent 3 billion minutes collectively on Spiceworks in 2011.

Last month, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer introduced Office 2013 and its integration with Microsoft SkyDrive cloud file storage service. The applications in the suite will also be accessible over the Internet, and Microsoft has been offering a Web-accessible service in Office 365 since June 2011. Google launched its productivity services, available only over the Web, in 2006.

There was a preference for Google Apps among survey respondents, with 48 per cent indicating it was the suite they were using or thinking of using. Forty-three per cent answered Office 365 and eight per cent said another cloud suite.

The top three reasons for planning to move to a cloud-based productivity suite included accessibility from anywhere (69 per cent), collaboration and sharing capabilities (54 per cent), and lower cost per user (37 per cent).

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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