Over half of the UK’s SMB decision makers only have a partial understanding of cloud technology, a study has found.
The research, carried out by software firm Sage UK, concludes that the knowledge gap is adversely affecting SMB cloud adoption.
Rob Davis, technology head for Sage 200 Online, said: "There’s a recognition that the worlds of business and technology have changed – the cloud has opened up new ways of doing business, of communicating, collaborating, and managing data. But while companies are becoming smarter about their use of the cloud and it continues to become a more viable option, the reality is that there’s still a pervasive knowledge gap amongst SMBs that threatens to hold back cloud adoption."
Nearly half of the survey respondents said that they have no plans to move to the cloud at present, even though they do recognise the benefits.
Anxieties over security and where data is stored remained the biggest barrier for more than a third of businesses around the cloud, followed closely by 25% of respondents worried about the risk of downtime.
"Security continues to be the biggest concern of businesses yet to move to cloud," said Davis.
The results comes in stark contrast to findings from a survey that examined cloud adoption in companies with employees numbering up to 10,000.
Research conducted by IDG Research and Sunguard Availability services points to the fact that the migration to cloud computing for larger companies shows no sign of slowing, with half of organisations expecting to boost their cloud services budget dramatically over the next 18 months.
The survey of 132 firms found that driving the movement to the cloud are pressures to pare costs and "do more with less," as well as the desire for employee mobility.
The percentage of IT services provided by third parties – including outsourcers and cloud providers – is expected to climb 37% over the next three to five years.
Jack Dziak, executive VP for products at Sunguard Availability Services, said: "Our survey confirms that organisations are becoming more sophisticated and knowledgeable about their uses for cloud.
"Indications are that while organisations are content to move productivity applications such as e-mail, HR, collaboration and conferencing solutions to the cloud, they are still hesitant to migrate mission critical applications relating to compliance, supply chain, and product lifecycle management."