According to the latest research from SMB Group, a technology industry research, analysis and consulting firm focused on technology adoption and trends in the small and medium business (SMB) market, as SMB requirements for fast, easy access to new social and mobile analytics solutions, more compute power and storage, and other services have increased, cloud adoption has boomed. The firm reported that 92% of SMBs are now using at least one cloud business solution and 87% are using at least one cloud infrastructure solution.
This growth is going to increase exponentially this year as more SMBs turn to a cloud-first approach that not only supports existing business models, but also enables the development of new innovative products, services and business models.
The 2015 State of Small Business Report, sponsored by Wasp Barcode Technologies, corroborates the SMB Group’s findings, adding that 38% of SMBs anticipate an increase in IT spending in 2015 with the following investment plans topping the list:
1. The Cloud (especially web and email hosting, and file sharing)
2. Virtualization (productivity and industry-specific apps, and development)
The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA.gov) reports there are currently 23 million small businesses in America, which account for 54% of all U.S. sales and 55% of all jobs. The government firm also adds, “While corporate America has been “downsizing”, the rate of small business “start-ups” has grown, and the rate for small business failures has declined. Since 1990, as big business eliminated 4 million jobs, small businesses added 8 million new jobs.”
While there are various factors behind the upsurge in small businesses, the fact that the barrier for entry has never been lower is an important part of the equation. In the past if a business wanted email it had to invest thousands of dollars for a server and other IT equipment, plus software licenses and a temperature-controlled room – all of which had to be managed by an in-house IT employee. Creating a website added several thousand dollars to the start-up costs, and so on. Nowadays, in a matter of a few minutes and at a cost of less than $10 per month, a start-up can have a reliable Exchange service running in the cloud where they don’t need to worry about fixing it, updating it, or buying a new one. And, for $1 a month, the same start-up can get a website domain, plus a tool to help build a professional looking site for just a few dollars more.