Spiceworks has revealed the results of a new survey analysing the familiarity and use of cloud networking technologies by small to medium businesses.
The study, The Cloudification of the Network, reveals that despite security, control and uptime concerns, 45% of IT respondents are currently using or plan to use cloud networking services in the next 12 months.
The survey also reveled that 72% of IT professionals surveyed are already familiar with cloud networking services.
Content filtering, DNS and VPN/remote access services are shown to be the most widely used cloud networking services today.
Of those who have deployed a cloud networking offering, content filtering is being used by 33%, DNS by 28%, and VPN/remote access services by 22%.
IT professionals in SMBs can reduce routine management tasks and improve performance by adopting cloud networking services by simplifying their IT environment and providing access to important information from anywhere.
While the adoption of cloud-based networking trails overall cloud service usage, high levels of familiarity with networking services bode well for vendors looking to develop the latest offerings.
"While cloud servers and storage get most of the attention, cloud networking services are emerging as viable solutions for IT professionals," said Kathryn Pribish, Voice of IT program manager at Spiceworks.
"IT professionals are clear on the benefits and challenges associated with the latest services as well as the features and functionality that matter to them. Vendors who address perceived challenges have a unique opportunity to capitalise on this growing space."
Cost and billing options, data protection and security were rated as the primary factors weighed during the vendor selection process by IT professionals currently using or planning to use a cloud networking solution.
Additionally, 58 and 51% of respondents said accessibility and disaster recovery were important reasons to use a cloud networking service.
For those who have not deployed a cloud networking solution, 61% cited security issues, 53% cited lack of control as a barrier to adoption. Another 42% were concerned about service outages.
Todd Krautkremer, Pertino's VP of marketing, said: "A new reality is settling in on IT organisations, especially SMBs: employees are more productive when they are allowed to work when, where and on the devices they want. This represents new challenge to IT professionals and dramatically changes the traditional business network landscape.
"However, the future of networking is looking up, into the cloud, where it's possible to deliver an anywhere, anytime and any device network while maintaining the security, visibility and control businesses demand."