• Dell and Techaisle cloud study* reveals securing a trusted IT partner is key to effective cloud application implementation and overall deployment success for small and medium businesses
  • More than half of SMBs say CIOs / IT managers are the key decision makers when it comes to cloud applications*
  • Among SMBs who have adopted cloud applications, those surveyed said they expect to increase their cloud business applications in 2012 to a total of seven (up from just two in 2010)*

Results from a survey conducted by Dell Cloud Business Applications and Techaisle* show adoption of cloud business applications is on the rise among small and medium businesses (SMBs). The SMB Cloud Application Trends Survey measured the benefits and challenges faced in migrating applications to the cloud and found IT decision makers have critical roles in the success of cloud application decisions and implementations, and in choosing the right IT vendor.

As SMBs assess which cloud applications make the most sense for their businesses, the survey reveals deployment services and application integration are critical for success. As such, the survey in December 2011 of more than 400 U.S.-based companies with employee bases ranging from 50 to 999 found that up to 69 percent of SMBs indicate preference to purchase cloud applications from a single trusted vendor.

“This new research echoes what our customers are asking for,” said Paulette Altmaier, vice president and general manager of Dell Cloud Business Applications. “Customers are looking for a trusted IT partner who has evaluated the right cloud applications for their businesses and who can accelerate their time to value with turnkey services”

Key findings include:

  • Cloud application adoption will continue to rise in 2012: SMBs that currently use cloud applications plan to add an average of three new cloud business applications in 2012.
  • CRM is a gateway to broader adoption of cloud applications: CRM has the highest penetration of any cloud application at up to 55 percent, an increase of up to 34 percent from 2010.
  • Managing multiple vendors is a pain point for SMBs: Up to fifty percent of respondents noted significant challenges in keeping track of different SLA’s, while up to 48 percent complained that explaining their business to each vendor was tedious and time consuming.
  • SMBs desire flexibility in integration: SMBs have high integration process expectations with up to 74 percent of respondents using in-house IT staff to integrate new cloud applications with on-premise technology and up to 61percent are writing software code to integrate applications. Up to sixty-three percent of respondents would like the option to modify the integration based on business process changes.
  • Efficiency and productivity continue to be top benefits of applications integration: On average, SMBs state they have experienced up to 38 percent improvement in operational efficiency due to reduced manual processes and up to 39 percent improvement in employee productivity due to automation of tasks and information.

Overall, SMBs state that the key benefits of adopting cloud applications include a low total cost of ownership (TCO), fast deployment time, simplified access from a browser, single sign-on, and automated feature and functionality upgrades. Dell Cloud Business Applications (DCBA) can fulfill many of the needs identified in the survey, delivering a family of trusted, integrated cloud applications and services that enable new business processes and deliver rapid time to value.

Survey Methodology*:
The primary research study was conducted with 400 SMBs in the U.S. that have at least one cloud-based business application. The survey was conducted online in December 2011 and was based on a structured questionnaire with a number of open-ended questions. The sample included both IT Decision Makers (ITDM) and Business Decision Makers (BDMs) who have responsibility for selecting and implementing business applications.

“We are one of the fastest growing private companies serving the K-12 education community, supporting more than 1,300 customers. Dell’s integrated CRM solutions with salesforce.com’s Sales Cloud and Dell Boomi will allow us to seamlessly integrate our sales and Professional Services Organizations to better serve the needs of our growing customer base,” said Doug Eicher, Vice President of Sales at Schoolwires. “The integration also will give our account team members access to real-time data that will help them identify additional school districts that would benefit from our solutions. Being able to rely on Dell to deliver and support the entire solution from implementation to ongoing maintenance is a tremendous advantage.”

“Cloud adoption does not end with signing up for an application,” said Anurag Agrawal, CEO, Techaisle. “As SMBs dive deeper into their options for utilizing multiple cloud business applications, they are quickly realizing the need to partner with a trusted cloud solutions vendor and develop a comprehensive, scalable plan for implementation. The results of our latest cloud related survey show that research, deployment and integration are key factors for success when making the migration to the cloud, and working with one, trusted IT vendor who will lead a company through their entire migration is proving to be a powerful option for small and medium businesses.”

About Dell Cloud Business Applications
Dell Cloud Business Applications offers a family of integrated cloud applications and services that enable new business processes while leveraging existing software and technology investments. Dell Integrated CRM is a cloud service uniquely packaged to meet the needs of growing companies, delivering Salesforce CRM integrated to existing infrastructure along with reporting, analytics, turnkey Dell services, and support. For more information, visit www.dellcloudapplications.com. Follow the conversation on Twitter #dellcloudbizapps.

About Dell
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.


*Research conducted by Techaisle on behalf of Dell based on a sample from Techaisle’s SMB cloud computing technology panel.