Small and medium-sized businesses resisting cloud, keeping data local

While cloud ERP and cloud CRM have become a mainstay in American business, especially among larger corporations with massive amounts of data to organize, there are still plenty of stragglers who have yet to embrace the movement toward the cloud. A new study from Scale Computing reveals there might be even more firms resisting cloud solutions than we thought.

According to Scale, which surveyed over 3,000 IT professionals, 90 percent of those polled said it was ‘important or very important’ to keep applications and data within their company-owned infrastructure instead of entrusting such resources to a cloud provider. The company found that the priority of keeping data local and not making it easily accessible in the cloud is especially prevalent among small and medium-sized businesses.

“This survey confirms that small and mid-sized businesses desperately need to both simplify and virtualize their environments,” industry expert Stephen Foskett said. “Converged infrastructure offerings like Scale’s HC3 are a fantastic way to accomplish both at once. If I was managing an IT environment, I’d definitely go the converged route rather than building a pieces-parts system.”

Cloud computing on the whole is still undergoing exponential growth. Gartner projects that global revenue generated by the cloud will hit $148.8 billion by 2014, according to CRN – Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) are all exploding in popularity in the corporate world.

But small businesses have different priorities. Because their data storage needs are a bit more manageable, they have other considerations besides their data. Scale found that total cost was the most important factor that businesses weigh when considering the cloud, followed by complexity of the solution. Business owners also want to consider the amount of time it takes to implement a solution, and because cloud services often require a lot of time initially to master that’s another reason for IT officers to keep things local.

Of course, security is also a key concern. Because a lot of small businesses opt for public cloud services like Google, due to the relatively low cost and labor needed to maintain them, data is often vulnerable to outside intrusion. Scale found that the IT managers they surveyed strongly believe in keeping data on premises for security reasons, which is why less than 3 percent of companies keep all their virtualized environment in the cloud.

The cloud is here to stay, and it’s changed the way the corporate world operates technologically. But small businesses are still lagging behind, at least for now.