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Lack of cloud knowledge holding Kiwi SMBs back

Kiwi businesses must learn how cloud-based computing systems can benefit their business, as a new study reveals a third of small and medium businesses have never used cloud computing.

“This study is a real eye opener,” says Stephen James, New Zealand chief executive of The Alternative Board, who undertook the study.  

“Respondents using the cloud say it makes their workforce more productive and better able to service their customers’ needs,” he says.

James says a third of businesses are missing out on the advantages of the cloud, and it will only be a matter of time before this starts to impact on their bottom lines.

“A lack of knowledge about cloud computing could be holding many SMEs back,” he says.

According to the study, the majority of cloud-using businesses no longer have security fears.

When businesses first moved to the cloud, 80% of owners with a high grasp of cloud computing rated their security confidence at a 7 or higher, the study shows. Still, a respectable 63% of owners with a lower grasp of cloud computing rated their confidence in security a 7 or higher.

Functionality was the greatest concern from respondents migrating to the cloud platform (43%). James says businesses were primarily concerned that by using the cloud, important data could be compromised, also by the inability to access data when internet signal is weak and with dependence on a third party to manage their company’s information technology needs.

When businesses were asked what their reasons were for moving to cloud computing, the top response (22%) was because it makes their workforce more mobile and productive followed by quicker/easier access to data (21%) and to service customers more effectively (11%)

James says it was pleasing that the principal reasons customers made the switch were positive ones.

“Just 8% said they made the switch to save costs,” he says.

Eighty one percent of respondents rated their satisfaction with using cloud based platforms a seven or higher.

The survey was taken by 300 business owners based in New Zealand, UK, Ireland, Canada and the US.