A new study by
Microsoft found the number of small and medium-sized businesses that use the cloud will triple by 2015 and the overall cloud services market doubles in size by 2017. This is largely because decision-makers are recognizing the cloud's ability to host both mission-critical data and applications, like fax services and analytic tools, to level the playing field for SMBs.
"Gone are the days of large enterprises holding the keys to enterprise-class IT and services," said
, Microsoft's vice president of operator channels. "The cloud levels the playing field for SMBs, helping them compete in today's quickly changing business environment, by spending less time and money on IT and more time focused on their most important priority - growing their businesses."
The study also found that more companies want mobile-based solutions, especially as they deploy bring-your-own-device programs. Mobility has become critical to meet evolving expansion and productivity goals in today's economy.
The Software-as-a-Service aspect of the cloud, in particular, is becoming more commonly used. According to a recent study by
Gartner, the market for SaaS will expand by nearly 18 percent in 2012, compared to 2011, and generate more than $14 billion in revenue.