BMO Bank of Montreal
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BMO Bank of Montreal

April 09, 2012 09:14 ET

BMO Study: Cloud Computing Still a Mystery to Half of Canadian Businesses

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 9, 2012) - BMO Financial Group released today the results of a recent BMO study asking Canadian business owners about their knowledge and appetite for cloud computing. The study conducted by Leger Marketing found that:

  • Fifty per cent of business owners said they do not know what Cloud computing is;
  • Only 10 per cent of Canadian businesses plan to use cloud computing;
  • The remaining 40 percent of businesses indicated no immediate plans to use cloud computing.

While not an entirely new IT service model, cloud computing is a rapidly growing information technology trend, marketed as the provision by a third-party of shared software, data storage and computing capacity through a web-based server.

"At BMO, we continually advise small business owners to keep abreast of new ideas and developments that have the potential to be cost- and time-effective solutions for their businesses. Cloud computing provides small businesses with access to platforms and enterprise solutions once reserved solely for big businesses," said Cathy Pin, Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.

"The advantage of cloud computing for business owners is that it can help avoid major capital expenditures on hardware, software and other services, with their businesses paying only for what they use." explained Bal Sahjpaul, Director, eChannel, BMO Financial Group. "This service model can also lower overall IT costs, while giving businesses access to valuable analytics, productivity and collaboration tools."

BMO Financial Group offers the following four tips for businesses thinking of "hopping onto the cloud":

  1. Have objectives and a plan in place before "hopping on to the cloud" - Cloud computing offers so many enticing tools for businesses, it may seem like every one of them is the right one for your business. However, as you would for marketing, recruiting or international growth, set objectives and draft a cloud computing plan in order to not get pulled in different directions or take on unnecessary expenses.
  1. Decide what it is that you want to transfer over from old to new platforms - With your plan in place, decide which new tools your business would benefit from and which elements you would rather keep as they are. Cloud computing is not at a one size fits all solution. It can be tailored to your businesses requirements and a sound provider will give you those options.
  1. Make security one of your main areas of focus - Security issues are always a priority whether you are using cloud computing or not, especially when dealing with sensitive customer information. As a business owner, you must ensure you are comfortable with the security offered by your chosen cloud service provider.
  1. Keep up to date on new platforms - IT solutions are evolving every day, so keep informed about what may be of interest now or down the line. For those with in-house or consulting IT staff, ensure that they are staying on top of the latest developments and have access to the training and trade information that they require. Ideally, you should have more than one resource trained on the cloud, so your business can continue to operate smoothly in the event of staff changes.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $538 billion as at January 31, 2012, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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