APAC SMB cloud survey: Benefits outweigh security concerns
By Asia Cloud Forum editors 24-May-2012
New survey findings show that small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the Asia Pacific (APAC) are gaining "significant IT security benefits" from cloud computing adoption.
Commissioned by Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, research company comScore conducted the region-wide "Cloud Security Survey" on 500 companies small and medium businesses in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India and the US.
Time and budget savings
Across APAC, 57% of "cloud users" reported reduced time spent on managing security. The study found that cloud-adopting SMBs in Hong Kong are spending 23 hours per week to manage security -- nearly half of what they used to spend before transitioning to the cloud. This compares to 30 hours of time savings per week by cloud-adopting SMBs in Singapore, 29 hours for India, and 25 hours for Malaysia.
On average, APAC SMBs are saving an averaged 26% on their IT budget due to using the cloud. The IT budget savings vary widely across the markets, though -- 30% for Malaysia SMBs, 28% for India SMBs, 26% for Hong Kong SMBs, and 17% for Singapore SMBs.
Cloud adopting SMBs in APAC said they experienced higher levels of security since moving to the "cloud," with cloud-adopting SMBs in India benefitting the most -- 64% for India SMBs, 52% for Malaysia SMBs, 51% for Hong Kong SMBs, and 43% for Singapore SMBs.
In addition, cloud users in APAC reported spending less time worrying about their company's susceptibility to cyber-attacks -- 52% for India SMBs, 48% for Singapore SMBs, and 47% for Hong Kong SMBs.
"There's a perception that security is a barrier to cloud adoption," said Adrienne Hall (pictured), general manager, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, "Yet when companies embrace and invest in cloud services, they find the benefits far outweigh previous concerns."
Time and money reallocated
The study found that cloud-adopting SMBs have been re-investing the time and money spent in managing security prior to using cloud services on growing their businesses. The survey shows that security benefits of cloud computing are dispelling the adoption barriers for SMBs in APAC.
In APAC, cloud computing is used as a means to help scale the business to explore new markets -- 57% for cloud-adopting SMBs in Singapore, 52% for India, 43% for Hong Kong, and 38% for Malaysia.
Scalability was cited as a major benefit from cloud adoption. Sixty-two percent of cloud-adopting SMBs in both Singapore and India were able to increase and decrease IT capacity when needed. This compares to 54% in Hong Kong and 46% in Malaysia.
Microsoft Trustworthy Computing's "Cloud Security Survey" defined SMBs based on screen count, with 100 to 250 personal computers. The survey did not reveal Microsoft as the sponsor of the survey, or inquire into the type of "cloud product or service" the respondents adopted.