Irish businesses unwittingly using cloud computing
Smaller companies remain confused about the cloud, says O2 survey
Tech4Biz | 01 Jun 2012 :
Irish businesses are confused about cloud computing to the extent that many are using the technology without realising it, according to a new report by O2. The survey of 350 Irish business owners and managers was conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes for O2 in March of this year.
The survey found that almost half (45%) of firms surveyed are confused or very confused by the term cloud computing. While just one in five say they are currently using cloud computing, the study finds that in fact 48% are using one or more cloud apps: 29% of firms say they use Google Docs; 20% are using Dropbox and 17% are using Microsoft's Office 365.
Alan Brown, business director, Telefónica Ireland, operator of the O2 brand, said the survey results were not surprising. "Business owners remain generally confused about cloud computing, yet they are adopting cloud services because of the clear benefits they offer.
"Especially in the current economic environment there is an onus on providers to work with their customers to explain clearly the benefits of various cloud services. For example, easily being able to expand storage and users and the ability to operate without major expenditure on servers, on-premise software upgrades or monthly IT maintenance contracts."
The lack of awareness is most prevalent amongst smaller companies and the retail/wholesale and hotel/leisure sectors. Some 48% of firms employing one to three people are confused about cloud computing. This falls to 40% for those employing more than 10 people.
The study found that of those who say they do not currently use cloud computing, one in five is considering it. Perceived benefits are widely spread across accessibility, ease of use, reduced cost, security and business continuity.
In terms of barriers to using cloud computing, the majority (67%) cite lack of awareness as their primary or secondary reason.