Cloud Services Can Be a Challenge for SMBs

Small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are turning to the cloud for numerous reasons.

First, they’re using the cloud to lay the foundation for rapid growth and transformation. A majority (85%) of SMBs admitted to Deloitte how they believe the cloud empowers them to scale and grow faster. The logic is that the cloud helps to simplify and streamline operations, thus creating new opportunities.

Second, SMBs are leveraging the cloud to align with a changing business landscape. This became apparent to Deloitte when SMBs cited flexibility around mobility and remote working (not cost reduction) as the primary reason for adopting the cloud. Cloud computing enables employees to be at work wherever they want. They don’t need to be using a specific device. If they have an Internet connection, they can complete their tasks with their team members in real-time using a cloud-based workflow and file-sharing apps.

Third, cloud computing is inherently flexible in that it doesn’t bind organizations to what assets they can support on-premises. It’s a matter of changing their plan with their cloud service provider to fit their needs.  This allows organizations to rapidly scale their cloud computing resources in a way that improves operational efficiency.

Notwithstanding the reasons cited above, moving to the cloud carries certain risks for SMBs. Nearly a third (29%) of SMB respondents said in a 2019 report that they suffered a data breach after moving to the cloud. When asked to elaborate on those experiences, 31% of respondents said that detecting instances of unauthorized access had become more difficult since migrating to the cloud.

The issue here is that many SMBs lack the necessary resources to strengthen their digital security posture in any environment, not just in the cloud.

To illustrate, half of the organizations polled in a 2018 study said that they had annual IT budgets of under $5,000; half of those respondents admitted that they had less than $1,000 to spend on security each year. It’s therefore not surprising that many of those respondent SMBs lacked a formal security program. Fewer than 30% of survey participants said that their employers had dedicated IT security professionals. These types of measures make it more difficult for SMBs to ensure consistent levels of security within their cloud deployments on an ongoing basis.

Michael Markulec

technology executive, cyber-security guru, politician, rugby player, deadhead, brewer, former army officer, crossfitter, and hard-drinking calypso poet.