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Cloud Technologies Directly Driving SMB Expansion and Growth

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Cloud Technologies Directly Driving SMB Expansion and Growth

July 23, 2014
By Laura Stotler
TMCnet Contributing Editor

Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. have been growing and expanding at an aggressive rate and cloud technologies and adoption are directly fueling that trend. New research from Oxford Economics conducted in tandem with cloud communications provider Windstream (News - Alert) Communications shows four major trends surrounding cloud technologies and their contribution to SMB growth.

More than half of the 350 senior IT and business executives queried during the second quarter of the year for the research stated the cloud will be critical to their innovation and growth strategies during the next two years. And 57 percent professed cloud adoption will enable them to expand into new geographic markets.

An astounding 88 percent of larger companies surveyed believe that cloud adoption will also enable more collaboration among their business units, while two-thirds expect the cloud to support improved innovation and better customer service delivery within the next two years. Those organizations identified as “trailblazers,” or those that have adopted cloud strategies early on, are expecting higher profit margins and overall better profitability than other survey respondents. Of the trailblazers, more than half believed the cloud was critical to innovation.

"The survey findings illustrate a compelling snapshot of the cloud environment today," said Edward Cone, managing editor and senior analyst for thought leadership at Oxford Economics. "The conclusions drawn in this report provide vital information to anyone interested in cloud computing."  

One thing respondents had in common was concern over cloud security. In fact, 76 percent of those queried revealed cloud security was their biggest concern with planned migration strategies. Platform compatibility and privacy were also noteworthy concerns for just more than half of respondents, with healthcare organizations having a greater concern about overall data security.

Of current cloud adopters, 51 percent of those surveyed said they are using cloud technology for data warehousing. Other popular cloud migration plans include disaster recovery and business continuity, fulfillment and order management functionality, program and project management and supply chain technologies.

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