The Parallels Australia SMB Cloud Insights survey caught my attention. It's released as a pre-conference marketing promotion but it still contains some useful unbiased results.
The fact that it's benchmarked to similar surveys across the developed world is what makes it most relevant and interesting. It turns out that Australia is a poor cousin when it comes to cloud adoption, particularly in SMBs with 20 to 250 employees. For example, In other developed countries 49% of those report using hosted servers, whereas in Australia the figure is 22%. For smaller Australian businesses the uptake is about 60-70% of the other developed countries.
Of course "hosted servers" aren't really "cloud" - but managing hosted servers is what Parallels sells. The figures can be taken as indicative of the general attitude toward broader cloud services, with hosted servers being used as an example.
WOW! Nifty.I've never seen that before. It helps both parties SEO-wise, to get the cross links, and I think it encourages a response (like mine!).
- Parallels concludes that the strongest growth opportunity among Australian SMBs is targeting small businesses with less than 50 employees. What are the signals that would tell a service provider that such a business is getting ready to buy?
I don't mean cold calling asking the direct question. But what, for example, would be the indirect question and signals - would it be mobile adoption or an application upgrade for example?
- The larger, up to 250 employee, businesses were the real laggards compared to the rest of the world. They have bigger budgets, but the implied inhibitor is their own IT staff. What are the key inhibitions of the IT staff and how should they be addressed? Knowing that would open up a much bigger set of opportunities.
Is Australia lagging everywhere?
At the same time as Parallels noted Australia lagging in cloud adoption, I saw this report Security Risks Lead To A Third Of Australian Employers Banning Social Media. The biggest trends of our time, which will dramatically effect how business is done, are cloud, social and mobile. So our businesses are behind in cloud and banning social media!
Next we only need employers to come out with a survey saying "Employers declare iPhone a work menace!" and we'd have to start shedding tears. But wait - Australian employers “paralysed” in the face of consumerisation of IT - oh NO!
Unisys Asia Pacific vice president and general manager of IT outsourcing, Lee Ward, said employers were "paralysed" by the BYOT challenge, "over the last 12 months, employers have moved from "blissful ignorance" to "paralysed awareness" in the face of consumerisation of IT", she said.
What does this spell out? Opportunity!
Opportunity opportunity opportunity
For those who understand the business shifts and gains from cloud, mobile and social this spells out an "unparralleled" opportunity to get well ahead of the pack.
I'll be interested to see more details of the final Parallels Australian report, which they are releasing at their APAC Summit.
Where do you think the best opportunities lie, in the less than or more than 50 employee SMBs?
Where do you see the best business opportunities at the convergence of cloud, social and mobile?
See my question on Quora.
Please comment below.