Dell Survey Shows Cloud Business Application Adoption Rising Among SMBs

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Low total cost of ownership and fast deployment time are shown to be key benefits of Cloud adoption for smaller businesses

Results from a survey conducted by Dell Cloud Business Applications and Techaisle show adoption of cloud business applications is on the rise among small and midsize businesses.

As SMBs assess which cloud applications make the most sense for their businesses, the survey indicated deployment services and application integration are critical for success. The survey, which included more than 450 US-based companies with employee bases ranging from 50 to 999, found that up to 69 percent of SMBs prefer to purchase cloud applications from a single, trusted vendor.

Adoption growth curve

Cloud application adoption will continue to rise in 2012, as SMBs that currently use cloud applications plan to add an average of three new cloud business applications in 2012. The survey also suggests CRM is a gateway to broader adoption of cloud applications: CRM has the highest penetration of any cloud application at up to 55 percent, an increase of up to 34 percent from 2010.

Up to 50 percent of respondents noted significant challenges in keeping track of different service level agreements (SLAs), while up to 48 percent complained that explaining their business to each vendor was tedious and time-consuming.

SMBs have high integration process expectations with up to 74 percent of respondents using in-house IT staff to integrate new cloud applications with on-premise technology and up to 61 percent are writing software code to integrate applications. Up to 63 percent of respondents would like the option to modify the integration based on business process changes.

The survey also showed that efficiency and productivity continue to be top benefits of applications integration. On average, SMBs state they have experienced up to 38 percent improvement in operational efficiency due to reduced manual processes and up to 39 percent improvement in employee productivity due to automation of tasks and information.

Overall, SMBs state that the key benefits of adopting cloud applications include a low total cost of ownership (TCO), fast deployment time, simplified access from a browser, single sign-on, and automated feature and functionality upgrades. Dell Cloud Business Applications (DCBA) can fulfil many of the needs identified in the survey, delivering a family of trusted, integrated cloud applications and services that enable new business processes and deliver rapid time to value.

“Cloud adoption does not end with signing up for an application,” said Anurag Agrawal, CEO of Techaisle. “As SMBs dive deeper into their options for using multiple cloud business applications, they are quickly realising the need to partner with a trusted cloud solutions vendor and develop a comprehensive, scalable plan for implementation. The results of our latest cloud-related survey show that research, deployment and integration are key factors for success when making the migration to the cloud, and working with one, trusted IT vendor who will lead a company through its entire migration is proving to be a powerful option for small and medium businesses.”

The primary research study was conducted with 400 SMBs in the US that have at least one cloud-based business application. The survey was conducted online in December 2011 and was based on a structured questionnaire with a number of open-ended questions. The sample included both IT Decision Makers (ITDM) and Business Decision Makers (BDMs) who have responsibility for selecting and implementing business applications.

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