Dropbox and Microsoft Office 365 appear to be gaining more SMB cloud momentum. The proof? Recent survey results from IT management platform Spiceworks, which reviewed how cloud-based applications are forcing SMBs to balance IT requirements with employees’ needs.

The report, "Catching up to the Cloud: Steady Migration Into Cloud-Based File Sharing, Email and Productivity Services," unveiled employee demand for the cloud-based services in SMBs, particularly Dropbox.

Dropbox Leads the Pack as File-Sharing Usage Continues to Grow

Out of the 50 percent of IT professionals who said employees are using file-sharing services on their own, 93 percent said their employees are using Dropbox.

Vendor preference was more balanced for the 24 percent of respondents with a company-approved file sharing service. Dropbox leads with 40 percent, followed by Google (GOOG) Apps at 24 percent and Box at 10 percent.

Companies with approved solutions have risen 5 percent in the last year.

Microsoft Office 365 Surges Among SMBs

While Google (Gmail and the complete Google Apps suite, we assume) still ranks first in the hosted email deployments space for SMBs, Microsoft (MSFT) Office 365 is surging.

According to the survey, usage has nearly doubled over the last year to 30 percent from 16 percent. During the same period, Google usage fell two points to 32 percent.

Overall, hosted email deployments showed growth of 4 percent over the last year, moving to 46 percent from 42 percent.

SMB IT Deparments Move Quickly to Meet Demand

To connect remote teams, 51 percent of survey respondents have approved a webconferencing vendor or are planning to approve one in the next six months.

Collaboration tools are on the rise, too—30 percent of respondents have an approved collaboration tool or are planning to deploy one in the next six months.

But there is close competition between top cloud-based productivity applications vendors. According to the survey, of the 48 percent of SMBs currently using or planning to use these applications, 60 percent favor Microsoft 365 while 59 percent prefer Google apps.

Spiceworks IT Program Manager of Voice Kathryn Pribish said in her prepared remarks that the results reveal how cloud-based services are still being used by employees during their day-to-day operations. "Over the last year, we’ve seen that more companies are taking notice and formally adopting solutions that meet the ease of use and accessibility demands of their employees while maintaining corporate security, cost and compliance requirement," she said.

More than 500 respondents from a variety of industries participated in this Spiceworks survey. Around 43 percent of respondents were from North America, while 57 percent were from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). The study was sponsored by sponsored by LogMeIn, a provider of cloud-based connectivity services.

IT management platform Spiceworks has recently partnered with Dropbox to assist SMB owners concerned with how their employees are using the service. To assist SMBs with Dropbox, Spiceworks is offering an integration to monitor Dropbox use and shared and downloaded Dropbox documents from within the Spiceworks platform.