Microsoft SMB Cloud: A Portugal v Europe Analysis

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Nov 3, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Microsoft SMB Cloud
:

A
Portugal v Europe Analysis

The business and economic landscape: performance and expectations



The European Perspective

Businesses are more likely to expect to be more successful in the next 12 to 18 months (28%) than expect to
be

less successful (5%) (sheet 1); they are more likely to be hiring new staff (24%) than they are laying off
staff (7%) and around one in five businesses expect to invest in new technology or infrastructure over the next
12 to 18 months. The majority of sma
ll and medium sized businesses consider they have an important role to
play in the economy and are optimistic about the future (sheet 2); more than eight in ten (81%) believe small
and medium sized businesses are the backbone of the economy, as well as mor
e than half (51%) believing the
next 12
-
18 months will be tough but their business will be better for it in the end. Respondents' top three
largest barriers/inhibitors to growing their business WITHIN their country are economic uncertainty (58%),
consumer
demand (31%) and cashflow shortage (29%) (sheet 9). Whereas respondents' top three largest
barriers/inhibitors to growing their business OUTSIDE of their country are lack of capital (44%), government
policy/incentives/taxation (43%) and cultural issues


e
.g. language (29%) (sheet 10). The three policies
which respondents are most likely to think would help drive small business growth and employment in their
country are lower business taxes (67%), reduced taxes/costs on hiring new people (54%) and more
prot
ectionism from their government (36%); reduced sales tax on IT and computers for business use (29%) is
also in the top five policies (sheet 11). Almost half (46%) of businesses sell internationally (sheet 12); more
than one in five (22%) of those who don't
, plan to within the next 12 months (sheet 13). Currently, more than
half of businesses who sell internally consider Europe to be their biggest market (54%), followed by their own
domestic market (27%) (sheet 14). By the year 2020, the importance of these
markets is expected to
decrease (Europe
-

48% and domestic
-

20%), with one in ten businesses expecting China to be th
eir largest
market (sheet 15).

Portugal
Commentary

Similar percentages of Portuguese organisations when compared with the European popula
tion expect
2012 to be successful versus those that expect next year to be difficult. Indeed, for all the 2012
business expectation

questions, the Portuguese responses
were
in accord

with

the
opinion across the
whole sample.
We do know that the

small busin
ess community tends
to be optimistic about the future,
given that
entrepreneurs
will

be of

the
view tha
t their future is in their control.
But w
hat we see in the
Portuguese responses are small hints that

this

more usual positive viewpoint has bee
n slightly

tarnished by the real world situation.
F
ewer organisations expect to add staff (20% in Portugal v 24%
overall), fewer see domestic expansion (15% in Portugal v 18% overall), more expect to shrink (15%
v 12%) and more small organisations in Portugal will b
e happy just to survive (20% v 17%)
.

Similarly,

two thirds (67%) of Portuguese small businesses see economic uncertainty as the key
reason that might inhibit domestic growth, compared with 58% overall. When considering growth
outside the national market, P
ortuguese respondents cite a lack of capital (61% v 44% overall) as the
main inhibitor that would prevent
or inhibit success whilst half of the Portuguese sample suggest
Government policy as the second biggest factor compared with 43% overall. Finally, and

crucially,
around one in three of the whole sample (36%) suggested they

required
“m
ore protectionism from my
government


domestic consumers should be encouraged to buy products made in this country
” but in
Portugal two thirds of organisations agreed with

this analysis.





The role of IT: help or hindrance?

Around half of respondents worry that their country is not ahead of the game when it comes to embracing the
latest computer technology to support business (51%) and believe Europe is slower than emer
ging economies
in Asia at understanding the benefits to the economy and business of new technology (49%) (sheet 16). The
majority of respondents consider their use of IT to be an important part of their business, as demonstrated by
two
-
thirds (66%) of resp
ondents agreeing that computing technology is vital to their business (sheet 24). At
least two
-
thirds of businesses believe that IT investment must contribute to their business (sheet 34); only
around a third (37%) of respondents would prefer to 'rent' rat
her than 'buy' new computer technology.

Portugal
Commentary

More Portuguese respondents (63% v 49% overall) believe that Europe is slow and Asia is fast at
understanding technology benefits to the economy.
The Portugal companies interviewed are firmly of
t
he opinion that technology is a key ingredient for any success (81% v 66% overall) and that

Computing technology has a crucial role to play in helping my business get through the current
economic crisis
” (78% v 64% overall).

There is a possible hint for c
loud uptake in that a higher
proportion of
Portugal versus overall suggest that they prefer to ‘rent’ their new technology (45% v
37% overall).

Adoption of cloud computing: current and future

Almost six in ten (59%) respondents use some form of cloud comp
uting (sheet 41); more than four in ten
(42%) use business cloud computing and three in ten (31%) use consumer cloud computing. Within
organisations using cloud computing, it is most likely that these services were procured/deployed by an
internal IT depar
tment/specialist (sheet 42). The benefit of using cloud computing which is most likely to be
experienced is increased flexibility (49%) (sheet 43). Almost half (46%) of those organisations who don't
currently use cloud, are looking to do so within the next

12 to 18 months (sheet 44). Only around a quarter
(23%) of respondents consider knowledge or experience of cloud computing to be unnecessary when hiring IT
staff (sheet 45). More than half (52%) of businesses believe cloud computing is going to become mor
e
important for businesses like theirs; less than a quarter (24%) of respondents consider cloud computing to be
a passing trend (sheet 46).

Portugal
Commentary

Portuguese attitudes and uptake of cloud is similar to the overall picture although the cloud u
sers
(38% of the total) in Portugal are more likely to benefit from cost savings (55% v 45% overall) rather
than improving customer responsiveness (18% v 28% overall). As for the next 12 to 18 months, of
those that are not currently using cloud, a similar
proportion (47% v 46% overall) are looking to use
cloud but significantly more Portuguese respondents (31% v 18% overall) see a certified vendor as an
appropriate resource in this context.

The emergence of cloud in context: trusting the IT sector and clou
d computing

Businesses are most likely to believe it is the role of cloud service providers (35%) to be responsible for
guaranteeing that businesses and people can easily and safely adopt cloud services with regards to access,
transparency, data privacy a
nd security (sheet 57); more than three
-
quarters of respondents consider it to be
the responsibility of the IT sector overall (sheet 58). Attitudes toward the IT sector are generally positive,
around three
-
quarters of business think the IT sector is respon
sible when it comes to the issues of data
security (76%) and data privacy (73%) (sheet 59). Feelings are generally positive about cloud in regard to the
opportunity they provide; the majority believe cloud makes data more accessible (61%) and means small
b
usinesses can access the same services and infrastructure as large enterprises (59%) (sheet 71). However in
regard to the security of cloud, opinion is more mixed; whilst only three in ten respondents believe data is not
secure in the cloud, only four in t
en (41%) think a company like Microsoft can keep their data more secure
than they could otherwise achieve.

Portugal
Commentary

Almost half of the Portuguese respondents (49% v 35% overall) believe it is the role of cloud service
providers to be responsible

for safe cloud adoption and slightly more than across the whole sample
(82% v 77%) see this to be the responsibility of the IT sector overall. Attitudes toward the IT
industry in Portugal are more polarised than across Europe overall; thus more consider
the IT sector
to be innovative (85% v 70%) but over half feel that the sector can’t be trusted to self
-
regulate with
regards to privacy and security of customer data (56% v 41%). More respondents in Portugal trust
the IT sector (59% v 51%) but more also fe
el that the sector should contribute more to the debate on
social

issues (57% v 45%). Whilst cloud feelings across Europe are generally positive, in Portugal the
view is even more so; more accessible (68% v 61%), small companies accessing same services as
large enterprises (69% v 59%), and, ‘a

company like Microsoft can keep my data more secure than I
could otherwise achieve
’ (51% v 41%).



Methodology

This online survey of 2,100 business decision makers working within companies with a maximum of 250
emplo
yees was conducted by Vanson Bourne in October and November 2011. 21 countries in both Western and
Eastern Europe were included within the scope of the assignment.