• Cloud Barometer Report Reveals Internal Struggles

    Spiceworks surveyed 323 SMB IT professionals in North America and EMEA to better understand how cloud services are impacting three key business applications: file sharing/storage, email and productivity software. The results reveal the ongoing struggle between IT departments and the users they support. For example, cloud-based file sharing services, such as Dropbox, Box, and others, are easy to use and employee-friendly. However, IT departments remain concerned about the security, compliance and reliability challenges these services can present.

    Survey highlights include:

    Despite IT concerns, employee demands drive widespread cloud-based file sharing deployments within SMB environments.

    Thirty-three percent of the IT professionals surveyed say employees are using file-sharing services at the office on their own with most selecting Dropbox (87 percent). However, vendor preference isn’t as clear for the 28 percent of respondents who have or plan to approve a file-sharing vendor in the next six months. While Dropbox still leads with 28 percent, 10 percent prefer Box and, due to the large number of cloud services available, the majority of respondents (37 percent) would select a different solution altogether.

    More than 75 percent of respondents highlighted data accessibility as the primary advantage of file-sharing services. However, 73 percent also cited a lack of control and security issues as their single biggest concern.

    On-premise email solutions continue to be preferred by SMBs, but hosted email is gaining ground.

    Microsoft dominates the on-premise email market, but Google holds a commanding lead among cloud-based providers. According to the survey, 34 percent of those with a hosted environment are using Google, while 16 percent have selected Microsoft Office 365. Fifty percent of respondents have selected another hosted option, which includes hosted instances of Microsoft Exchange.

    Cloud-based productivity suites offer end-user and IT benefits, but SMBs have been slow to adopt.

    Thirty-five percent of survey participants are currently using or plan to use a cloud-based productivity suite for word processing, spreadsheets and other tasks. However, 64 percent are not currently using nor plan to use a cloud-based offering. For those that have deployed or are planning to deploy a cloud-based productivity suite, Google Apps (48 percent) and Microsoft Office 365 (43 percent) are the clear favorites.

    Go to the Spiceworks web site to download the complete report.

    In 2006, Jay Hallberg co-founded Spiceworks, the largest and fastest-growing social network for IT. Dubbed “The Facebook of IT” by TechCrunch, Spiceworks is used by 2 million SMB IT professionals and is transforming how $1 trillion worth of technology products and services is managed, marketed and sold each year.

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