REDMOND, Wash., March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Corp. today announced new research predicting a significant increase in paid cloud services over the next five years among small and midsize businesses (SMBs). The research conducted by Edge Strategies includes survey responses from IT decision-makers or influencers at more than 3,000 SMBs in 13 countries. According to survey results, paid cloud services are expected to double in five years, while the number of the world’s smallest companies using at least one paid cloud service will triple in the next three years.
“Gone are the days of large enterprises holding the keys to enterprise-class IT and services,” said Marco Limena, vice president, Operator Channels, Microsoft. “The cloud levels the playing field for SMBs, helping them compete in today’s quickly changing business environment, by spending less time and money on IT and more time focused on their most important priority – growing their businesses.”
Cloud computing is able to deliver more of what small and midsize businesses need – cheaper operations and faster, better fusion of vital information to virtually any device. In fact, the research finds 59 percent of companies currently using cloud services report significant productivity benefits from information technology, compared with just 30 percent of SMBs not yet using the cloud.
Moreover, despite a sluggish global economy, 63 percent of SMBs using cloud services today expect to grow in sales in the next 12 to 18 months while 55 percent believe technology will power their growth. SMBs worldwide are embracing cloud services to reap those benefits and stay ahead of competitors – 50 percent of SMBs say cloud computing is going to become more important for their operations, and 58 percent believe working in the cloud can make companies more competitive.