The shift toward cloud computing has already had a significant effect on business, and, as a new study showed, that influence is set to rise. A recent study conducted by Oxford Economics showed nearly two thirds of small and medium sized business owners surveyed said cloud services bring value to their company operations and overarching business outcomes. The study polled 350 executives across the U.S. – 33 percent were chief executive officers, chief operating officers or chief technology officers and 67 percent held other executive positions – and found cloud based file sharing and computing services positively affected business in numerous ways.
The “Path to Value in the Cloud” survey found that not only are companies currently using cloud computing to their benefit, but they also expect the influence of cloud services to increase in business in the next two years. Today, 42 percent of companies use cloud services for program or project management – in just two years, that figure is expected to climb to 63 percent. Approximately 51 percent of respondents use cloud technology for data warehousing – by 2016, the study predicts this will climb to 67 percent. Forty nine percent of respondents said they use the cloud for disaster recovery/business continuity measures and 44 percent said they use the technology for order fulfillment and management – in two years, these numbers will jump to 64 percent and 60 percent, respectively.
Cloud computing leads to positive business outcomes
The study also measured respondents’ responses regarding the ways cloud computing has and will continue to make positive impacts on business. The survey found 63 percent said cloud computing encourages collaboration among businesses, and in two years that figure is expected to rise to 83 percent, underscoring the rising popularity in cloud computing.
Furthermore, the study showed the breadth of impact cloud computing can have on a company – 55 percent said that cloud computing promoted improved customer service, a number that is anticipated to rise to 66 percent in 2016.
Other results showed 36 percent of survey respondents said the cloud was vital for creating innovative strategies, and 53 percent said it would be vital in two years.
Ed Cone, organizer of the study, pointed out that small and medium businesses usually don’t have large IT departments or the means to hire several tech consultants – which is where cloud services come in. The cloud allows companies to take control of their data and help their smaller IT departments stay focused on strategic innovation in the coming years.
Not only does cloud technology help with everything from supply chain management to fostering strong business partnerships, but Cone also said there was a “strong correlation between those furthest along in adopting cloud computing and bottom line results.”
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