SMBs turn to cloud as hybrid working becomes the norm

A circle of laptops connected to a cloud symbol.
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Bluebay)

The pandemic has triggered mass remote working, which in turn has meant many SMBs have downsized their offices, and has also prompted them to migrate their infrastructure from on-premise solutions, into the cloud.

This is according to a new report from data center specialists ServerChoice which found 42% of SMBs are thinking about changing up their office space, with the majority considering downsizing. On average, office spaces for SMBs could be 38% smaller than before the pandemic, while 7% of the respondents plan on having no physical presence, whatsoever.

Decentralizing the workforce in that respect also made SMB leaders rethink their IT strategies. Cloud imposed itself as the technology of choice, but most respondents are more interested in colocation and private clouds, rather than public ones. 

With 72% going for private clouds, this option dominates, while 19% are more interested in colocation. 

The interest in upgrading IT infrastructure is followed by inevitable concerns. Most SMB leaders (38%) are worried about the cost of moving their servers, while a third (33%) worry about possible downtime during the move. Finally, 18% are worried about things breaking down as they migrate.  

Security and reliability

For Adam Bradshaw, Commercial Director at ServerChoice, colocation being significantly more popular than public cloud isn’t much of a surprise, as “perfectly good IT hardware doesn’t need to be replaced with colocation”. 

“It is a solution that not only maximizes the potential of existing hardware but provides a more secure, and often more reliable, foundation for a business’ core infrastructure,” he said.

When small and medium-sized businesses opt for private cloud solutions, they mostly do it because of improved resource utilization, lower costs and increased security. With private clouds, however, businesses can also comply with data protection regulations easier, and can be more flexible with how they manage sensitive data. 

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.