Usage of cloud computing services such as Web-based email and cloud software is growing amongst small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in Australia, according to the results of a new Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) survey.
The Cloud computing in Australia report is based on surveys conducted with 1500 SMEs in May 2013. ACMA also surveyed 2400 Australian consumers aged 18 years and over about their usage of cloud computing services during May last year.
The report showed that 44 per cent of SMEs surveyed actively used cloud services. According to ACMA, this was prevalent amongst medium-sized businesses with 20 to 199 employees (51 per cent) compared to small businesses with 1 to 19 employees (44 per cent).
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The most popular cloud computing service used by SMEs was Web-based email such as Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo!7 Mail with a 57 per cent share. This was followed by sharing files online (43 per cent), accessing online software such as Office 365 (40 per cent) and backing up files online (39 per cent).
According to ACMA, SME use of specific cloud computing services varied by business size with 31 per cent of medium-sized companies more likely to use paid services such as hosting. Small businesses with tight budgets were more likely to use free services such as Gmail (58 per cent).
Turning to the 48 per cent of SMEs who chose not to use cloud services, respondents said there was “no need for it” or that cloud computing services were not suitable for the nature of their business. Other SMEs responded that they did not know enough about cloud services to implement it.
Turning to the consumer survey results of 2400 Australians, ACMA found that free Web email services such as Gmail were also popular with 88 per cent having used this service in the six months to May 2013.
Online software usage was also popular with 40 per cent of respondents saying they had used this service. Streaming content such as YouTube videos was used by 36 per cent of respondents while 35 per cent said that they backed up files online.