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Cloud improves cost and time savings for SMBs: Microsoft

Jack Loo | May 17, 2012
Microsoft says its SMB survey on cloud adoption supports its view that cloud can be a game changer.

Microsoft believes SMBs who are on the cloud spend less time and money managing information security. And it has the results of a survey to prove its case.

A total of 96 Singapore companies each having between 100 and 250 PCs participated in the survey conducted by comScore. Out of the respondents, 49 of them are cloud users, while the remaining 47 are non-cloud users.

Forty-eight percent say they spend less time worrying about the threat of cyber attacks. Singaporean SMBs using the cloud also spend 50 percent less time each week managing security than companies not using the cloud.

They are also two times more likely to have reduced what they spend on managing security as a percentage of overall IT budget.

"There's a perception that security is a barrier to cloud adoption," said Adrienne Hall, general manager, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing. "Yet when companies embrace and invest in cloud services, they find the benefits far outweigh previous concerns."

Office 365 user Sindicatum Sustainable Resources' CTO Bobby Jimenez shared the same view, saying that his organisation now does not need to employ in-house staff to manage security. The company specialises in project management for reduction or displacement of greenhouse gas emissions.

"The security patches all happen in the background. We do not have to schedule for server reboots which can be a hassle to the users and affect productivity," said Jimenez.

Also, in a non-cloud office environment, users often forget to update their PCs even after the in-house security team has reminded them, according to Hall. In a cloud-based organisation, the cloud provider would take care of the security patching, she said.

There are other benefits as well for Jimenez's company. Sindicatum Sustainable Resources has seen an improvement in the level of security. For instance, a user has seen a reduction of spam e-mails from an average of 40 in a week to just five.

Meanwhile, Jimenez said moving onto the cloud and not running servers has helped the company reduce at least 30 percent of carbon emission, a move that resonates well with Sindicatum Sustainable Resources' business nature.

In Singapore, Microsoft's Office 365 is in a head-to-head battle with Google Docs in recent months to become SMBs' main choice of productivity and collaboration suite. 


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