Small businesses find security in the cloud

Featuring business and technology insights from Cindy Bates

Over the last year the number of conversations I’ve had with Small Business owners about migrating to the cloud has increased significantly.  When the cloud emerged as a viable solution for small businesses, many business owners were hesitant to explore the cloud because they weren’t clear on the ultimate value it would provide.  More and more I’m hearing detailed questions about specific features and benefits of the cloud, which tells me that small-business owners are now more familiar than ever with the cloud.

Many businesses recognize that the cloud can deliver real return on investment, including cost benefits and the ability to quickly scale operations.  However, security in the cloud remains a recurring concern.

The difference between cloud security perceptions and reality was revealed in a recent survey by the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing team.  The study identified significant disparities between the views of business executives who have and those who have not adopted the cloud.

Among those who have yet to embrace the cloud, 60 percent expressed that data security concerns inhibited their adoption.  They also felt using the cloud would result in a lack of control over the privacy of their data (45 percent) and that they were not confident in the reliability of the cloud (42 percent). On the other hand, those using the cloud indicated that security and privacy protections were enhanced since implementing a cloud solution, including the following:

  • 94 percent experienced increased security benefits that they didn’t have with their former on-premise technology, such as the ability to keep systems and antivirus software up to date and better spam email management
  • 62 percent said their levels of privacy protection increased
  • 75 percent experienced improved service availability
  • 61 percent indicated both the frequency and length of downtime experienced with on-premise software has decreased since moving to the cloud

The study also found that those using the cloud are realizing better levels of support and service when unexpected outages do occur.  All of these benefits translate into time and money savings, which can be reinvested into core areas of your business.

I encourage you to keep learning more about what the cloud can do for your business and to keep security top of mind as you evaluate cloud-based solutions.


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