When you stop to think about it, the most enthusiastic adopters of cloud computing and the easiest companies to sell it to should be small and medium-sized enterprises.
We agree with this analysis by Ireland-based technology journalist Billy MacInnes: The cloud should be especially appealing to SMEs. “Larger organisations have substantial legacy infrastructure and bespoke systems they are unwilling or unable to quickly move into the cloud, but many smaller organisations have no such entrenched, complex IT to protect and preserve. By rights, they should be far more open to the concept of cloud computing.”
And once these companies have made successful early forays into the cloud, they can use it to support other key technologies, including mobile and analytics, in a scalable and affordable fashion.
But as we saw in a recent global research project on SMEs, many smaller firms are slower to adopt cloud computing than one might expect. A couple big hurdles: Lack of understanding of the benefits, and trouble determining ROI. Meanwhile, willingness to relinquish control of IT systems turns out to be a minor issue.
Note that the earlier research was global in scope and focused on a broader set of issues than the current, US-oriented program we are chronicling here. Still, it sets up some of the key questions we’ll be pursuing over the next few months.