Small firms ‘take the lead on cloud computing’

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A new industry report reveals that small companies are taking the lead when it comes to using cloud services.

Small firms are blazing the trail of electronic document storage, according to new industry research.

According to a study conducted by Parallels and unveiled at the company’s partner summit this week, smaller firms are enthusiastically embracing could-based storage systems and computing as they rush to take full advantage of the myriad benefits they provide.

The SMB Cloud Insights report pointed out that over the course of the next two years, small businesses are expected to double the number of paid cloud applications they use.

Smaller companies are also likely to purchase applications such as backup software, archive document storage for email, accounting and file sharing, while medium-sized firms will increasingly make use of phone conferencing services.

Small and medium-sized enterprises with a workforce of less than 20 employees were found to be three times more likely to use cloud-based computing systems than servers located on their business’ premises.

Mid-range small and medium-sized businesses were found to be the most keen on exploiting the cloud computing market, which is forecast to be worth more than $68 billion (£43 billion) worldwide over the next two years.

Birger Steen, chief executive of Parallel, told ITPro: "Traditional systems administrators working for a small business are no longer going to be people who hug servers in back rooms.

"In Q4 last year, we had, for the first time, more instances of servers out of the SMB server room than in the SMB server room in the US. The change is happening already. The server has effectively been moved out of the server room."

Mr Steen also pointed out that there has been a growing trend within the IT industry – and within the cloud industry in particular – to serve other businesses and capitalise on the estimated 148 million small enterprises waiting to be served.

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