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Cloud Computing Security Benefits Dispel Adoption Barrier for Small to Midsize Businesses



Cloud Computing Security Benefits Dispel Adoption Barrier for Small to Midsize
                                  Businesses

Cloud services reduce time and money spent managing security and increase
protection against cyberthreats, Microsoft study shows.

PR Newswire

REDMOND, Wash., May 14, 2012

REDMOND, Wash., May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Research released today by
Microsoft Corp. shows that small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are gaining
significant IT security benefits from using the cloud, according to a new
Microsoft study in five geographies.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)

The study shows that 35 percent of U.S. companies surveyed have experienced
noticeably higher levels of security since moving to the cloud.(1) In
addition, 32 percent say they spend less time worrying about the threat of
cyberattacks. U.S. SMBs using the cloud also spend 32 percent less time each
week managing security than companies not using the cloud. They are also five
times more likely to have reduced what they spend on managing security as a
percentage of overall IT budget.

"There's a perception that security is a barrier to cloud adoption," said
Adrienne Hall, general manager, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing. "Yet when
companies embrace and invest in cloud services, they find the benefits far
outweigh previous concerns."

Time and money spent managing security prior to using cloud services is being
reinvested by SMBs to grow their businesses and be more competitive. The
survey shows the following in the U.S.:

  o Of SMBs that use the cloud, 41 percent said they were able to employ more
    staff in roles that directly benefit sales or business growth, 39 percent
    invest in more product development or innovation, and 37 percent
    experienced improved agility and competitiveness.
  o More than half of those surveyed (52 percent) said using the cloud enabled
    them to add new products and services that benefit their business more
    quickly and securely.
  o Of those surveyed, 42 percent said the cloud made it easier for them to
    scale their business to explore new markets.

"Any solution that helps SMBs' bottom line has to be good for them and the
economy," said Ryan Brock, vice president of Worldwide SMB Cloud & Channels at
Access Markets International Partners. "When it comes to security, the cloud
offers SMBs a level of expertise, specialist resources and investment that
they cannot hope to match. This translates into cost and time savings and
better protection against cyberthreats, which gives them the freedom to
innovate and grow their business."

An example of a company that has realized the security benefits of the cloud
is SkyWire Media Inc., a small business in Nevada that helps other businesses
personalize and distribute rich content to mobile devices. As a small
business, it was a challenge for SkyWire to keep up to date with security
management. After transitioning to Windows Intune, a cloud-based management
and security solution, the company no longer faces the same problem.

By simplifying software distribution and streamlining the security upgrade
process, Windows Intune helped SkyWire save $90,000 (U.S.) in IT costs over a
span of six months, a savings of $15,000 (U.S.) per month. By retiring
third-party antivirus and antimalware tools, the company was able to redeploy
the cost of overseeing these processes.

"Since we started using Windows Intune, support calls are down by 70 percent,"
said Thomas Castleberry, chief operating officer, SkyWire. "We can now prevent
malware before it interferes with the productivity of our salespeople — and
this means they can go out and win new business."

The study, commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by research company
comScore Inc., polled companies with between 100 and 250 PCs in the U.S.,
Singapore, Malaysia, India and Hong Kong.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software,
services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full
potential.

(1) For the purpose of this research, cloud users were defined as companies
that used a cloud service via a subscription model.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.
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