The uptake of cloud services in the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector has jumped by 10% – up to 39% – over the last year, according to the SME Survey 2015, the largest representative survey of SMEs in South Africa.
The number of SMEs using cloud services has been growing steadily, but 2015 sees businesses waking up to the benefits offered by services like online stoage and backup, says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx and principle researcher for SME Survey 2015.
“For the first time, we see a real uptake of cloud services, which indicates that more and more SMEs are overcoming their natural apprehensions around the cloud and are instead starting to realise the benefits this can offer,” he said.
Goldstuck expects an even bigger jump in the next year, with more than 50% of SMEs using the cloud by 2016.
This will be driven by service providers selling specific applications to SMEs, like online backup to protect against the increasing dangers posed by power failures.
“The key is to market the applications within the cloud, not the cloud itself,” he says.
Many SMEs are already using Invisible Cloud services without realising it, such as online email, backups, accounting services, project management services and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.
“There is a lack of education about what the cloud really is and what services actually form part of it,” Goldstuck explains.
“For more significant uptake to occur, the cloud service providers need to play a role in educating SMEs more effectively around the topic.”