The research from Microsoft found that 65 per cent of small businesses say that cloud computing is either essential or important for their business, whilst 81 per cent say that they believe it will be in two years’ time.
Interestingly, 59 per cent of those surveyed said that their decision around which cloud computing vendor to opt for would be influenced by the privacy policies they had in place.
The findings suggest that the desire to drive down IT costs is increasingly fuelling the adoption of cloud computing solutions but concerns remain over data privacy and protection.
The cloud policies most likely to influence a small business’s decision are transparency about location of data, segregation of data between customers, and commitments not to mine cloud data for advertising.
Just over half the small businesses surveyed said they would want to see proof of compliance before signing up with a cloud computing vendor, whilst 59 per cent would demand that privacy provisions were built into the contract.
Brendon Lynch, chief privacy officer, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, said,“Not long ago, the IT industry wondered if privacy concerns would prevent small and mid-size companies from moving to the cloud. Our research indicates that is not the case.”
He added, “Instead, SMBs are expressing their interest in data protection by using it as a way to evaluate potential cloud providers.”