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Around92% of small and medium businesses (SMBs) who reported an increase in cloud usage during the peak of the pandemic said their cloud usage continued to increase in 2021, indicating that there is no slowdown in terms of digital acceleration and cloud adoption, according to a new report from DigitalOcean Holdings, Inc.

“Developers and SMBs require a different approach to the cloud that addresses their needs—our approach is centred around simplicity, community, support, open source and cost-effectiveness," said Yancey Spruill, CEO at DigitalOcean. “The cloud represents a massive opportunity for developers and SMBs to test their ideas and build their businesses and it’s more important than ever that they have access to easy-to-use cloud solutions that meet their unique needs."

The key findings of the report indicate that SMBs need simplicity at a good price from their cloud providers. SMBs of all types have less technical staff than enterprises and are more likely to have multiple priorities when it comes to managing cloud solutions. This report 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 cited cost (19%), technical training and education (13%), and time required to manage services (12%) as barriers to cloud adoption.

Traditional SMBs also suffered from a knowledge gap around cloud solutions, which means their cloud setups are less complex than tech-focused 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.

Of the respondents who reported increased cloud usage in 2020 due to covid-driven digital acceleration, 82% of traditional SMBs, 82% of tech SMBs, and 92% of enterprises said their cloud usage has continued to increase this year. 69% percent of respondents believe the cloud has helped their business recover from the ongoing pandemic.

Enterprises and tech-focused SMBs were more likely to be cloud native businesses than traditional SMBs–64% of enterprises, 58% of tech-focused SMBs, and 35% of traditional SMBs say they are cloud native. Cloud native businesses are also more likely to consider themselves startups, find hiring and training employees on technology solutions a greater challenge, and say the complexity of cloud solutions is more of a challenge than non-cloud native businesses.


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