There is an increasing demand amongst small to medium businesses (SMBs) for cloud services, according to new research by BCSH, the cloud business app specialist.
The research shows only 31% of SMBs currently have a cloud migration strategy in place, and are hindered by the fact they are are unsure which cloud services are best suited to their needs.
However, despite this, a significant amount of SMBs are looking to make an investment into cloud services.
In fact, 43% of respondents to the BCSH study confirmed they would be willing to purchase cloud services from their current service provider, and 40% are openly willing to purchase software and tools from operators to help them grow their business.
“The results of the study prove what we’ve known for a long time,” says Tom Platt, BCSG commercial director.
He says SMBs represent a ‘captive and willing audience’ for cloud services, and it is vital for operators to help their customers realise the value of cloud services and business applications.
According to the report, this this is already becoming a clear trend, with around a third SMBs already receiving help and guidance from their telecommunication operators on hosting and business applications.
Platt says, “Healthy dialogue already exists between SMBs and operators on key technology decisions.
“But at the same time, confusion persists amongst SMBs on what cloud innovation can offer and why they should adopt business apps.
“Operators have a unique opportunity to provide support and guidance to SMBs and play a significant role in their ongoing prosperity.”
The study also warns operators on the dangers of complacency when managing SMB customer relationships.
Of those SMBs questioned, 42% receive no help from their telecoms operators whatsoever, 58% would switch operators for access to a broader range of technology and services, and 52% will contemplate switching operators in the next two years.
“Long tenure from SMB customers does not imply loyalty, and operators can’t afford to be complacent,” says Platt
He says the research demonstrates the fact that SMBs are more intent than ever on investing in cloud services, and there is a real opportunity for operators to accelerate their plans to offer a fuller range of cloud services, and form deeper relationships with SMBs.