It looks like the only thing that Cloud computing cannot cure is flat feet. At least, that’s how it sounds like considering the huge array of wondrous things credited to this emerging technology paradigm. Some can be forgiven for considering it the modern-day equivalent of snake oil. Still, Microsoft insists that cloud computing can help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to cure one of the most persistent problems facing many such companies’ financial health – high security costs. To prove its point, Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Division recently surveyed companies, split between cloud and non-cloud users, which have between 100 and 250 workstations how they felt about their IT costs. According to the study, SMBs who relied on cloud-based security options, felt better about their IT costs than non-cloud companies. The ratio to non-cloud-using companies is by a ration of 3 to 5 times. The cloud users felts better about IT security, IT values, and IT costs.
Interestingly enough, besides feeling better about IT costs, the respondents claimed that they spent less time, 32% less, managing security than SMBs who do not use cloud services. According to Microsoft, US SMBs who favor cloud services were five times more likely than non-cloud enterprises to reduce their managed security spending. This reduction is based on a percentage of their IT budget as a whole. Plus, these SMBs were more likely, by a factor of six times, to reduce overall IT security spending. IBM says that cloud using enterprises also reported easier integration of systems, less security management time, increased belief in their systems’ security, and increased confidence in their firm’s compliance with regulations.
As we mentioned earlier, the claims are almost snake oil medicine-like. But Microsoft at least has some survey documentation to prove that there is more to the hype than mere feel good claims. Indeed, the cloud, just by its structure, can deliver many benefits that more traditional software infrastructure can’t.