Fifty percent of traditional, non-tech SMBs turned to the cloud to overcome the business challenges of the ongoing pandemic, but the latest Currents report by DigitalOcean Holdings found that the responsibility of managing cloud services often falls on the CEO, president, or even the owner of the traditional SMB. On top of limited technical staff, traditional SMBs note cost (19%), technical training and education (13%), and time required to manage services (12%) as barriers to cloud adoption. Traditional SMBs are calling for cloud solutions that are less complex and easier to manage.
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). There’s a clear opportunity for cloud providers to build simpler cloud solutions to fit the needs of traditional SMBs.