Wall Street Journal recently posted this article in their small business section. The article presents a balanced view of reasons why small businesses are looking to cloud based solutions for their business and why they may be reluctant to make the switch.

As of April 2010, only about 7% of small-business owners were using cloud services, but that number is expected to grow to more than 10% by mid-2011, according to a survey by technology-research firm IDC. “Moving the trend forward in the smallest companies is the affordability and flexibility,” says Raymond Boggs, vice president of small and mid-sized business research at IDC.

Software that is accessed through the cloud is often free or pay-per-use a more affordable model than paying big, upfront licensing fees. Half of small firms that use “the cloud” say it has improved their bottom line, according to a survey this fall by Microsoft Corp., which provides cloud services.

A number of surveys show that some business owners are hesitant to try cloud computing because they don’t want to stray from familiar systems or invest in new ones. Some owners that have made the switch, however, say it has been a boon to their cash-strapped firms.