According to findings from research firm IDC, small businesses using cloud computing are 1.7 times more likely to have over 10 percent revenue growth compared to similar sized companies in general.

Given these findings, it’s hardly surprising that the firm forecasts almost half of small and midsize business IT spending increases will be associated with cloud or nobility investments. Currently in the United States, over 37 percent of small businesses have deployed cloud solutions and over 28 percent plan to use cloud.

Worldwide adoption rates are also strong. India leads the pack with 32 percent growth in cloud adoption rates last year, followed by Brazil (29 percent), China (22 percent), and the United Kingdom (18 percent).

Why Consider the Cloud

Access to resources without requiring a major upfront investment is at the heart of cloud appeal. The ideal is for performance improvements to pay for monthly costs. This study found the top five reasons driving cloud adoption in United States-based small businesses are to:

  • pay for capabilities as needed
  • add new users without difficulty
  • add cloud resources easily to the company’s current IT environment
  • ease in-house IT staff workload with remote management and coordination
  • bring capabilities in-house if needed.

Getting the Most from Cloud

IDC analysts urge small companies to think bigger when considering the cloud. It’s not just a potential replacement for current on-premise IT investments. The savviest top performing companies are looking at cloud as a way to extend and enhance current technologies, creating new services that change business models for competitive advantage. It’s also another way to extract the most value from the technology investments companies have already made.

Where Should Companies Start?

Cloud-based computing has growing momentum in many larger companies, and IDC predicts uptake spreading to organizations of all sizes. In the U.S. alone, the firm predicts the largest share of IT growth between 2013 and 2020 will be from the transition to mobile and cloud technologies. For those small companies at the beginning of the cloud journey, IDC suggests thinking about storage and email as natural places to start. Additional capabilities, such as accounting, customer management and other applications can help sharpen business practices as employees get comfortable with cloud, and the business sees measurable outcomes.

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