Cloudy Business: How the Cloud Impacts Businesses of All Sizes
February 08, 2022

Raman Sharma
DigitalOcean

Share this

Digital acceleration took off during the pandemic, and companies are still prioritizing adapting to the digital-first world. In fact, recent surveys show 38% of companies are planning to spend more on digital transformation in 2022 than in 2021.

However, even with an increase in investment, not all organizations are on the same page of this transition. In this blog, we'll examine the findings from the latest DigitalOcean Currents report and what it reveals about the ways companies are leveraging the cloud to adapt to the digital future.

The Knowledge Gap

There is a large cloud knowledge gap between traditional small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and enterprises.

For example, 48% of respondents from traditional SMBs are not familiar with the term "cloud native," compared to just 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.

Because of this knowledge gap, SMBs are interested in simpler cloud solutions. The survey found that SMBs across all industries generally have fewer technical staff than enterprises with 43% having zero full-time technical staff, and are more likely to have multiple priorities when it comes to managing cloud solutions as a result. Because of this difference, SMBs are actively seeking cloud services that reduce time spent managing infrastructure.

Given the increasing investment in digital transformation and SMBs' need for streamlined services, there will likely be an increase in the adoption of cloud services with easily manageable infrastructure in 2022.

Pandemic Recovery

While the knowledge gap is primarily a concern for SMBs, 69% of all businesses — from major enterprises to bootstrapped startups — reported the cloud was a major factor in their pandemic recovery. Of the respondents who reported increased cloud usage in 2020 due to COVID-driven digital acceleration, 82% of traditional SMBs, 83% of tech-focused SMBs, and 92% of enterprises said their cloud usage continued to increase in 2021.

The broad popularity among different-sized businesses signals that adoption won't slow down anytime soon. However, the increased adoption doesn't mean smaller businesses are not struggling to keep up with larger companies on the technology curve. The majority of businesses, regardless of size, listed the impacts of COVID-19 as the biggest challenge they face right now. But for small to medium businesses, keeping up with the technology curve is the second biggest challenge, mostly due to the perceived cost of and time needed to manage tech services.

One Size Doesn't Fit All

Beyond increased adoption rates, the survey also found different-sized businesses need different cloud architectures to meet their needs, and what works best for the enterprise could cost SMBs and startups valuable resources.

For example, 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%).

In most cases, traditional SMBs often start with on-premise infrastructure and graduate to the cloud (51%). This is a slight difference compared to enterprise and tech-focused SMBs, who are near equally likely to be hybrid or completely cloud-based from the start (65% of enterprises, 64% of tech-focused SMBs).

However, tech-focused SMBs are most likely to consciously seek out a multi-cloud architecture to meet their needs because of limited architecture management resources as less than half of SMBs have a dedicated staff person managing infrastructure.

Going Forward

While companies of all sizes have leaned into the cloud to offset the negative impacts of COVID-19 on their business, this recent survey shows smaller companies still struggle to overcome the tech curve. Going forward, it's likely that SMBs and startups will continue to seek out simple, cost-effective and flexible cloud services and straightforward educational services/communities in order to continue to reap the benefits of the cloud and grow their businesses.

Raman Sharma is VP Product Marketing at DigitalOcean
Share this

The Latest

March 04, 2024

This year's Super Bowl drew in viewership of nearly 124 million viewers and made history as the most-watched live broadcast event since the 1969 moon landing. To support this spike in viewership, streaming companies like YouTube TV, Hulu and Paramount+ began preparing their IT infrastructure months in advance to ensure an exceptional viewer experience without outages or major interruptions. New Relic conducted a survey to understand the importance of a seamless viewing experience and the impact of outages during major streaming events such as the Super Bowl ...

March 01, 2024

As organizations continue to navigate the complexities of the digital era, which has been marked by exponential advancements in AI and technology, the strategic deployment of modern, practical applications has become indispensable for sustaining competitive advantage and realizing business goals. The Info-Tech Research Group report, Applications Priorities 2024, explores the following five initiatives for emerging and leading-edge technologies and practices that can enable IT and applications leaders to optimize their application portfolio and improve on capabilities needed to meet the ambitions of their organizations ...

February 29, 2024

Despite the growth in popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) and ML across a number of industries, there is still a huge amount of unrealized potential, with many businesses playing catch-up and still planning how ML solutions can best facilitate processes. Further progression could be limited without investment in specialized technical teams to drive development and integration ...

February 28, 2024

With over 200 streaming services to choose from, including multiple platforms featuring similar types of entertainment, users have little incentive to remain loyal to any given platform if it exhibits performance issues. Big names in streaming like Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO Max invest thousands of hours into engineering observability and closed-loop monitoring to combat infrastructure and application issues, but smaller platforms struggle to remain competitive without access to the same resources ...

February 27, 2024

Generative AI has recently experienced unprecedented dramatic growth, making it one of the most exciting transformations the tech industry has seen in some time. However, this growth also poses a challenge for tech leaders who will be expected to deliver on the promise of new technology. In 2024, delivering tangible outcomes that meet the potential of AI, and setting up incubator projects for the future will be key tasks ...

February 26, 2024

SAP is a tool for automating business processes. Managing SAP solutions, especially with the shift to the cloud-based S/4HANA platform, can be intricate. To explore the concerns of SAP users during operational transformations and automation, a survey was conducted in mid-2023 by Digitate and Americas' SAP Users' Group ...

February 22, 2024

Some companies are just starting to dip their toes into developing AI capabilities, while (few) others can claim they have built a truly AI-first product. Regardless of where a company is on the AI journey, leaders must understand what it means to build every aspect of their product with AI in mind ...

February 21, 2024

Generative AI will usher in advantages within various industries. However, the technology is still nascent, and according to the recent Dynatrace survey there are many challenges and risks that organizations need to overcome to use this technology effectively ...

February 20, 2024

In today's digital era, monitoring and observability are indispensable in software and application development. Their efficacy lies in empowering developers to swiftly identify and address issues, enhance performance, and deliver flawless user experiences. Achieving these objectives requires meticulous planning, strategic implementation, and consistent ongoing maintenance. In this blog, we're sharing our five best practices to fortify your approach to application performance monitoring (APM) and observability ...

February 16, 2024

In MEAN TIME TO INSIGHT Episode 3, Shamus McGillicuddy, VP of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) discusses network security with Chris Steffen, VP of Research Covering Information Security, Risk, and Compliance Management at EMA ...