October 21, 2010, 12:16 PM — A small, but growing number of SMBs are actually using cloud or SAAS to replace existing hardware, or to keep them from having to buy new gear to support the services they want.
That's far slower than larger companies are moving, or even planning for cloud services.
This month a study from a cloud-focused integrator found 39 percent of large companies weren't moving forward because they were confused about the real benefits to them.
451Group analyst Sean Hackett, btw, says a lot of the 'confusion' is a long analysis process CIOs are going through to really make sure whether cloud makes financial sense. Adding cloud to a large enterprise can change a lot about the fundamental infrastructure, security requirements, staffing and training, data protection, auditing and compliance -- a lot of things that took years to put in place and might take a few months to take into consideration when considering a cloud contract.
Smaller businesses, on the other hand, are fancy free. They have much less legacy IT to worry about and fewer staff to deal with it, anyway.
A lot of SMBs would love to give up day-to-day responsibility for some of their systems, not only to save money, but because the staff of a good-sized cloud provider would ahve specialists in security, disaster recovery, networking and other issues SMBs can't afford to build expertise in, according to James Staten, analyst for Forrester Research.