DigitalOcean Report Uncovers Barriers SMBs Face in Cloud Adoption, Showing Need for Less Technical Solutions

November 16, 2021

While 52% of traditional SMBs believe the cloud is critical to their business success, 43% have zero full-time technical staff to manage cloud solutions

DigitalOcean Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DOCN), the cloud for developers, startups and small-to-medium sized businesses, today at deploy announced the findings of its latest Currents report.

Fifty percent of traditional, non-tech SMBs turned to the cloud to overcome the business challenges of the ongoing pandemic, but the Currents report found that the responsibility of managing cloud services often falls on the CEO, president, or even the owner of the traditional SMB. On top of limited technical staff, traditional SMBs note cost (19%), technical training and education (13%), and time required to manage services (12%) as barriers to cloud adoption. Traditional SMBs are calling for cloud solutions that are less complex and easier to manage.

“Developers and SMBs require a different approach to the cloud that addresses their needs—our approach is centered around simplicity, community, support, open source and cost-effectiveness,” said Yancey Spruill, CEO at DigitalOcean. “The cloud represents a massive opportunity for developers and SMBs to test their ideas and build their businesses and it’s more important than ever that they have access to easy-to-use cloud solutions that meet their unique needs.”

Key findings of the Currents report include:

  • There is a cloud knowledge gap between traditional SMBs and enterprises. For example, 48% of respondents from traditional SMBs are not familiar with the term “cloud-native,” compared to the 5% of respondents from enterprises who are not familiar with the term. Meanwhile, 56% of respondents from traditional SMBs are not familiar with the term “digital native,” compared to the 18% of respondents from enterprises who are not familiar.
  • Businesses of all sizes relied on the cloud to get through the pandemic peak—and adoption isn’t slowing down any time soon. Of the respondents who reported increased cloud usage in 2020 due to COVID-driven digital acceleration, 82% of traditional SMBs, 83% of tech SMBs, and 92% of enterprises said their cloud usage has continued to increase this year. Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe the cloud has helped their business recover from the ongoing pandemic. Businesses of all sizes say coping with the impacts of COVID-19 is the biggest challenge they face right now, but for traditional SMBs, keeping up with the technology curve is just behind.
  • Different sized businesses need different cloud architectures to meet their needs. Multi- and hybrid cloud adoption is more prevalent among enterprises (44% multi-cloud, 44% hybrid cloud) and tech SMBs (40% multi-cloud and 36% hybrid cloud), while traditional SMBs are more likely to have a single cloud (46%). Additionally, traditional SMBs often start with on-premise infrastructure and graduate to the cloud (51%) compared to enterprise and tech-focused SMBs, who are equally likely to be hybrid or completely cloud-based from the start (65% of enterprises, 64% of tech-focused SMBs). There’s a clear opportunity for cloud providers to build simpler cloud solutions to fit the needs of traditional SMBs.

Read or download the full report here:


The Currents report is based on 2,400 interviews in 48 countries conducted by Aspen Finn from September-October 2021. Respondents were split into three segments: enterprise companies with 500 or more employees, tech-focused SMBs with under 500 employees who describe themselves as tech or hybrid, traditional SMBs with under 500 employees who describe themselves as non-tech.

About DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean simplifies cloud computing so developers and businesses can spend more time building software that changes the world. With its mission-critical infrastructure and fully managed offerings, DigitalOcean helps developers, startups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) rapidly build, deploy and scale applications to accelerate innovation and increase productivity and agility. DigitalOcean combines the power of simplicity, community, open source, and customer support so customers can spend less time managing their infrastructure and more time building innovative applications that drive business growth. For more information, visit or follow @digitalocean on Twitter.

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Source: DigitalOcean Holdings, Inc.