MYOB, which offers the MYOB Live suite of cloud solutions commissioned independent market research firm Colmar Brunton to conduct a nationally representative survey of 1,000+ SMEs.
Only 14% said they used the cloud for business while 79% said they did not use it and 8% did not know about the technology. Companies using cloud technologies for business however, were 53% more likely to see a revenue rise in the past year.
The respondents’ gap in understanding of the cloud computing concept brings into question whether their sector’s information needs are aligned with the technology industry’s educational objectives.
According to MYOB CEO Tim Reed, despite the technology industry’s best efforts to teach others about the concept of cloud computing, the research shows a disconnect between SME cloud usage and the businesses’ understanding of it.
Given the prolific use of the internet in banking and email, it was surprising to find almost 80% not using the cloud for business. Mr Reed believes that the key to encouraging mass adoption of newer and more advanced cloud products and services is to advocate the productivity and financial benefits to a much greater extent than the technology behind it.
Mr Reed said that the advantages of using cloud computing for business came through loud and clear in the research with 53% more likely to see a revenue rise last year. 26% of respondents who said they were using the cloud saw a revenue rise compared to 17% of those who said they were not using it.
Financial and operational result wins for cloud users Vs. non users
- Will have more sales/work than usual in their 3-month pipeline: 55% Vs. 25%
- Intend to grow their number/range of products or services in the next year: 48% Vs. 24%
- Expect their revenue to rise in the next year: 44% Vs. 26%
- Intend to increase their prices and margins on products/services sold this year: 37% Vs. 25%
- Intend to increase staff numbers this year: 35% Vs. 15%
- Expect the economy to improve within 12 months: 34% Vs. 18%
- Record revenue increases in the last 12 months: 26% Vs. 17%
- Ability to access data from whatever location they wanted (42%)
- Able to have their team members work remotely (28%)
- Reduce the number/range of IT issues they have to deal with personally (26%)
- Data was better protected and safer online on external servers (23%)
- Did not know enough about the issues to make the right decision (27%)
- Unsure of the safety in storing their data in servers overseas (26%)
- More important business priorities to take care of first (22%)
- Unsure their data would be as secure on servers other than their own (21%)
- Not tech-savvy enough to feel confident to even start looking at the issue (17%)
- Generation Y (28%)
- Businesses with a website (23%)
- Start-up businesses (23%)
- Professional and property services businesses (22%)
- Metropolitan-based businesses (21%)
- Businesses whose revenue had increased in the last 12 months (20%)
- Sole traders (15%)