The varied benefits cloud computing offers SMBs have been cited many times by many people: increased flexibility, reduced overhead, extended accessibility of applications and data. However, a new survey of SMBs in the US and Asia by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shows another benefit cloud services can deliver to SMBs: improved security.

The Microsoft study reveals a number of figures which make the potential of cloud services as a security booster for SMBs shine brightly indeed. For example, 35 percent of U.S. companies surveyed have experienced noticeably higher levels of security since moving to the cloud. In addition, 32 percent say they spend less time worrying about the threat of cyberattacks. U.S. SMBs using the cloud also spend 32 percent less time each week managing security than companies not using the cloud. and are five times more likely to have reduced what they spend on managing security as a percentage of overall IT budget.

Cloud Services also Aid SMB Staffing, Marketing

Other impressive cloud security figures include benefits to SMBs in the areas of staffing and marketing. Survey results indicate that among SMBs that use the cloud, 41 percent were able to employ more staff in roles that directly benefit sales or business growth, 39 percent invested in more product development or innovation, and 37 percent experienced improved agility and competitiveness. In addition, more than half of those surveyed (52  percent) said using the cloud enabled them to add new products and services that benefited their business more quickly and securely, while 42 percent said it allowed them to more easily scale to explore new markets.

Bringing the Cloud to SMBs

Naturally, Microsoft is not simply releasing these figures to be a good corporate citizen. Like many other large companies, Microsoft is actively targeting the SMB market as a destination for its products and services, including managed cloud services. But MSPs who scale and deliver their cloud services correctly can effectively compete with Microsoft and other “big boys,” and provide the same kind of security benefits and other advantages the cloud offers SMBs.

MSPs should even feel confident enough to cite the Microsoft study to prospective SMB clients, explaining how security is one more advantage managed cloud services can provide. And by obtaining their cloud services from an MSP focused on the small-to-mid-sized market, SMBs can be sure their cloud needs will be considered a high priority, and that cloud services will be effectively scaled and priced down to their sphere of operation. There are many different types of “security” SMBs seek when obtaining managed cloud services. Protection against cyberattacks, malware and other IT dangers is one type of security, but the comfort of knowing they are a valued customer whose needs are fully understood is another.