The recently released Intuit dispatch Small Business Success in the Cloud includes the following forecast:
Nearly 80 percent of U.S. small businesses will be fully adapted to cloud computing by 2020, more than doubling the current 37 percent rate.
We've gotten a lot of questions about this forecast, so we thought we would explain it in more detail (Emergent Research worked with Intuit on this study).
We chose this metric because we felt cloud adoption was not an informative statistic. This is because most small businesses use the cloud for at least some tasks and especially email and social media.
But despite relatively high cloud adoption rates, relatively few (37%) small businesses report being confident using the cloud to manage their business.
And if small businesses aren't confident about the cloud, they won't change their behaviors due to the cloud or fully embrace the cloud's capabilities.
But those who are confident will adapt their businesses to the cloud. This means not only embracing the full range of cloud computing's capabilities, but also potentially doing things in new and innovative ways.
To get at this information, Intuit recently surveyed small business owners with 50 or fewer employees. Below is the key survey question and the responses.
As you can see from this data, 37% of respondents said they were completely or very confident in their use of web tools. We call this group "fully adapted".
We're forecasting the "fully adapted" group will grow to 78% by 2020.
This forecast was done by looking at the small business diffusion rates of other technologies (online banking, ecommerce, mobile payments, etc.) and factoring in the vendor pressure to move to the cloud (few new products come in non-cloud forms) and the increasing speed technology is adopted.
We are strong proponents of the use of behavioral data and metrics as forecast tools. We think this type of information provides deep insights on the likely impacts of a new trend, shift or technology.