PHOTO - Adrienne Hall, general manager, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing in Kuala Lumpur.
Software giant Microsoft's global study shows Malaysian and global small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are realising business and security benefits by adopting cloud services.
Speaking in Kuala Lumpur on 22 May 2012, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing general manager Adrienne Hall said the new study in five geographies showed that SMEs are realising IT security, efficiency and cost saving benefits from using cloud services.
"The study shows that 50 percent of Malaysian companies have experienced noticeably higher levels of security since moving to the cloud," said Hall. "In addition, 52 percent say they spend less time worrying about the threat of cyber attacks."
She said that Malaysian SMEs using the cloud also spend 56 percent less time each week managing security than companies not using the cloud. "They are also two times more likely to have reduced what they spend on managing security as a percentage of overall IT budget."
"There's a perception that security is a barrier to cloud adoption," said Hall. "Yet when companies embrace and invest in cloud services, they find the benefits far outweigh previous concerns."
The study, commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by research company comScore, polled companies with between 100 and 250 PCs in the U.S., Singapore, Malaysia, India and Hong Kong. For the purpose of this research, cloud users were defined as companies that used a cloud service via a subscription model.
SMEs focus on growth
Hall said that time and money spent managing security prior to using cloud services was being re-invested by SMEs to grow their business and be more competitive.
She said the Malaysian cut of the survey also showed that 38 percent of SMEs that use the cloud said they were able to employ more staff in roles that directly benefit sales or business growth. "Seventy (70) percent invest in more product development or innovation; and 44 percent experienced improved agility and competitiveness."
"More than half of those surveyed (52 percent) said that using the cloud enabled them to add new products and services that benefit their business more quickly and securely," said Hall. "While 38 percent said the cloud made it easier for them to scale their business to explore new markets."
"Cloud computing services are considered as an affordable solution for SMEs to outsource their ICT maintenance," said Malaysian security agency CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer, Lt Col (R) Prof Dato' Husin Jazri. "Though some Malaysian SMEs have expressed their concerns over security on cloud computing, they do acknowledge that transparency on security practices would boost their confidence in the cloud."
"Malaysian SMEs must take that bold step to adopt secure and scalable technology infrastructures such as the cloud if they are to succeed in a global, interconnected economy," said Malaysian agency SME Corp chief executive officer, Dato' Hafsah Hashim. "Among other benefits, the cloud takes the hassle of managing security away from the SMEs, which then gives them the freedom to focus on innovating and growing their business."
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