As the line between personal and professional technologies blurs, small and mid-sized businesses are accelerating their adoption of cloud-based applications. That’s the conclusion of a recent study by Spiceworks, the world’s largest social network for IT professionals.

“The Spiceworks Cloud Barometer” sponsored by EMC focuses specifically on the use of cloud-based file sharing, email and productivity applications. The study concludes that despite some concerns on the part of IT, the widespread adoption of such user friendly cloud-based applications is growing among small and mid-sized businesses because of gains in employee productivity.

In announcing the study, Spiceworks said:

“The two million IT professionals in Spiceworks are managing the transition to cloud computing each day. Many of the complex technologies once reserved for IT departments have been simplified, so today’s tech-savvy employees can install their own cloud-based applications in minutes. This wave of consumerization is forcing IT departments and technology vendors to rethink the way they design, build and implement technology solutions.”

Highlights of the survey of 323 Spiceworks IT professionals in North American and EMEA include

  • Thirty-three percent of respondents say their employees are using file-sharing services at the office on their own with most selecting Dropbox (87 percent). However, vendor preference isn’t as clear for the 28 percent of respondents who have or plan to approve a file-sharing vendor in the next six months.
  • More than 75 percent of respondents highlighted data accessibility as the primary advantage of file-sharing services. Still 73 percent also cited a lack of control and security issues as their single biggest concern.
  • Fifty-two percent have deployed an on-premise email solution, while 42 percent have chosen a hosted environment. An additional six percent plan to migrate to hosted email within the next six months.
  • Thirty-five percent currently are using or plan to use a cloud-based productivity suite for word processing, spreadsheets and other tasks. However, 64 percent are not currently using nor plan to use a cloud-based offering.

What cloud-based applications are you employing in your business? Are you seeing productivity gains among your team because you’ve moved to the cloud?

Download  The Spiceworks Cloud Barometer Report