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Announcing Currents: DigitalOcean's research report on SMBs and the cloud

Posted: November 16, 20213 min read

DigitalOcean is excited to announce the launch of our latest edition of Currents, DigitalOcean’s research report on all things cloud. For this edition of Currents, we wanted to do a deep-dive into how small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around the globe are leveraging cloud solutions, their unique challenges, and how tech-focused and traditional SMBs differ in their technology needs. 

To achieve this, we worked with research agency AspenFinn to conduct a survey with 2,400 IT decision makers who work in companies of all sizes and industries and compared responses across three distinct groups–enterprises, tech-focused SMBs, and traditional SMBs. Enterprises were classified as companies with over 500 employees, while tech-focused SMBs are companies with under 500 employees who deliver technology products to their customers, and traditional SMBs are companies with under 500 employees who deliver non-technology products to their customers. We asked additional questions around how businesses self-classify and if they consider themselves a startup or cloud native business.

The findings demonstrate that while cloud solutions are important to many types and sizes of businesses, there are barriers to adoption when it comes to cloud solutions, and many small businesses do not have dedicated staff to manage their cloud infrastructure. We also found several key differences in how enterprises, tech-focused SMBs, and traditional SMBs approach technology and what they are looking for in their cloud solutions. 

Highlights of the findings include:

  • There is a cloud knowledge gap between traditional SMBs and enterprises. For example, 48% of respondents from traditional SMBs are not familiar with the term “cloud native,” compared to the 5% of respondents from enterprises who are not familiar with the term. Meanwhile, 56% of respondents from traditional SMBs are not familiar with the term “digital native,” compared to the 18% of respondents from enterprises who are not familiar. 
  • Businesses of all sizes relied on the cloud to get through the pandemic peak -- and adoption isn’t slowing down any time soon. Of the respondents who reported increased cloud usage in 2020 due to COVID-driven digital acceleration, 82% of traditional SMBs, 83% of tech SMBs, and 92% of enterprises said their cloud usage has continued to increase this year. Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe the cloud has helped their business recover from the ongoing pandemic. Businesses of all sizes say coping with the impacts of COVID-19 is the biggest challenge they face right now, but for traditional SMBs, keeping up with the technology curve is just behind.
  • Different sized businesses need different cloud architectures to meet their needs. Multi- and hybrid cloud adoption is more prevalent among enterprises (44% multi-cloud, 44% hybrid cloud) and tech SMBs (40% multi-cloud and 36% hybrid cloud), while traditional SMBs are more likely to have a single cloud (46%). Additionally, traditional SMBs often start with on-premise infrastructure and graduate to the cloud (51%) compared to enterprise and tech-focused SMBs, who are equally likely to be hybrid or completely cloud-based from the start (65% of enterprises, 64% of tech-focused SMBs). Tech-focused SMBs are most likely to consciously seek out a multi-cloud architecture to meet their needs. 

To read and download the full report, including additional insights, full research methodology, and regional breakdowns, visit this page

DigitalOcean provides a simple to use cloud solution with transparent pricing for small and medium-sized businesses all over the globe. If you’re an SMB interested in trying DigitalOcean’s simple to use cloud solutions, sign up for an account today

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