A recent regular survey of more than 1000 companies in New Zealand suggests that only 14 percent of organisations are using “the cloud” to conduct business.
More than three-quarters of those surveyed said they did not use the cloud, and eight percent said they did not know, according to a statement released by accounting software solutions provider, MYOB, which sponsored the research.
“You can’t go anywhere in the business-to-business world and not see it mentioned,” says MYOB director Julian Smith. “But business owners don’t know what the cloud is, they don’t read the content, and even when it is described to them, it’s not at the top of the mind. What this tells me is that business owners don’t care about the technology, they just want the benefit.”
The research sampled 1005 businesses weighted to reflect the size distribution of businesses in New Zealand. Sixty percent of the respondents, for example, were sole propietors, Smith says.
The question put to respondents was “Do you use cloud computing for busines software, and IT infrastructure, and data storage services provided via the internet where you don’t run your own server?”
The larger the company, the more likely it was to respond affirmatively to the question. Twenty-one percent of businesses with 21 to 199 employees said their organisations were in the cloud.
From Smith’s perspective, while resellers are familiar with the terminology and the concepts behind the notion of cloud computing, in its various forms, it’s the smaller organisations that want to know only what a technology will benefit their companies.
“The classic model for traditional technology providers is they create the technology, get the public relations team out there to do the marketing, and then ship it around the channel and talk about it as part of a particular category,” Smith says. “It’s possilbe that people that sell cloud services are talking about the fact that something is in the cloud, but not focusing on the benefits that s supposed to deliver to the end client.”
This is especially true, Smith says, for the least cloud-enabled category of all, the sole proprietorships.
“If you want to get mom and pop business owners to take up the benefits of the cloud, we need to communicate in a way that resonates with them,” Smith says.
Smith says that a large preponderance of small businesses were found to not even have a website, which led to MYOB teaming up with Westpac bank offering business owners a free web space as part of a promotion to be seen by potential customers.
According to the survey, even businesses with websites were more than likely not to consider themselves cloud enabled. Fewer than one-quarter of businesses with websites reported using cloud services.
“We tech companies have a challenge for the smallest companies,” Smith says. “We’re passionate about the benefits, but if all the content is about the nuts and bolts and not the benefit, that doesn’t resonate with mom and dad biz owners. They just want to know how their lives are easier in a paricular way.”
The survey queried business owners that were not MYOB customers. The sample was drawn from the Fly Buys Household Panel.