Right Networks poll finds smaller companies are leveraging the cloud to enhance customer experience

It’s no secret major corporations are leveraging the cloud to provide a wealth of services, but what about small-to-medium sizes businesses (SMBs)? According to a new report published by Right Networks, the benefits of the cloud aren’t limited to big businesses. SMBs are leveraging the cloud to better serve customers and seek new company opportunities.

The Right Networks survey asked 364 SMBs 18 questions centered on the scale of their businesses, overall impressions of the economic climate, and the potential for companies and job growth. According to the poll, 73% of small business customers said they felt encouraged about new business prospects, and 63% said they intended to add jobs within six months.

“We continue to see increasing levels of adoption in our cloud technology among the SMB market,” Michael Way, director of customer success at Right Networks, told RCR Wireless News. “The education and guidance available to SMB’s is as strong as ever so as businesses look to improve and stay competitive, adopting cloud technology can do that at a manageable price”

With respect to company confidence, 51% of small businesses suggested they were “cautiously optimistic,” with 48 of respondents selecting “confident/bullish” to note high business competence. When questioned about their confidence in regards to the economy in general, 61% said they were “moderately confident” in comparison to six months before, with 32 respondents citing “very confident.”

The survey also gauged on whether certified public accountants (CPAs) and accounting professionals felt technology had helped them transform their businesses for the better, enabling them to better serve clients and seek new businesses. Within the customer sampling, 75% of respondents that use cloud storage and application technology felt “very confident” about the future of accounting and jobs security, with 21% saying they were “moderately confident.”

In addition, the survey found 63% of CPA firms and accounting professionals were driven to update technology to either automate administrative tasks and boost productivity, or to provide flexible solutions for customers that demand responsiveness at anytime.

Nevertheless, adopting these sorts of technologies is easier said than done. Approximately 21% of SMBs surveyed said cost was a barrier toward migrating to the cloud, with 53 of respondents citing security concerns and 46 noting issues attached to workflow disruption.

In response to addressing some of the hurdles in setting up this kind of technology, Way underscored the importance of finding the right vendor. “In a smaller business, resources are often in areas of the business that generate revenue or marketability. They tend not to be in areas like project management or technology implementation. It is important to work with a vendor that understands the value of what you need and can help you achieve that value to fruition.”

Speaking as to how smaller companies can determine if they should adopt cloud technologies, Way added: “The market is very fast and very mobile right now. If you can leverage a cloud solution that targets specific business need, that can make a big impact on efficiency and profitability. Those resources can then shift into new areas of growth for the business. I think it is important to take an early high level view at processes and how you may improve them in the future. Adopting cloud technologies can make a huge impact on implementing those improvements and with a smaller team, you can achieve the value very quickly.”

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