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Cloud Computing: Rapid Adoption by SMB's of Cloud and Virtualization Technologies

By Dick Weisinger

For Small and Medium sized businesses (SMB), the world of cloud computing has arrived.  Now more than half of SMB’s are using the cloud for some part of their computing environment, and even a higher percentage (61 percent) of SMB’s have adopted virtualization for use in their on-premise computing infrastructure.  That’s the result of a new study by Spiceworks, the “Voice of IT”, a market research company focused on technology in the SMB marketplace.

Jay Hallberg, co-founder and vice president of marketing for Spiceworks, said that “despite market fluctuations, 2011 proved to be a great year for disruptive technologies as SMBs increasingly adopted tablet computers, cloud services and virtualisation technology.”

SMB adoption rate of cloud technology is currently tracking at a rate nearly double of what large organizations are doing.  SMB’s are able to do it because they are less risk-adverse, they’re smaller and more agile.  In many cases, because  SMB’s are signing on to enterprise technologies that they never had before, they don’t face the issues of needing to  migrate from legacy systems that confront larger organization– from an affordability standpoint, enterprise software that may have been out of reach to them previously, is now available at a cost where they need pay for only what they use.  The cloud enables SMB’s to have easy and affordable access to enterprise-grade software, data storage and security.

But, it’s not only the cloud where SMB’s are aggressively adopting new technologies.  The SpiceWorks report found that more than 50 percent of SMB’s have deployed iPads within their organizations.  And SMB IT budgets are growing.  In the second half of 2011, SMB IT budgets grew at a rate of 9 percent, and nearly a third of SMB IT shops are planning to hire new IT staff members.

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