New research by Fasthosts has revealed that 70 per cent of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe cloud computing is essential to business development. A majority of enterprises in the UK plan to adopt the revolutionary technology within the next year, but will they follow through?
Although cloud computing, that is, online-hosted programs, files and apps, has already begun transforming IT frameworks and the computer industry as a whole, it has yet to take over small business operations. Conversely, the technology’s versatility is widely recognised by large enterprises and consumers alike. A massive portion of the UK market uses the cloud on a daily basis through smartphone devices, tablets and netbooks.
Many company executives are adopting cloud computing to trim costs, as well as enhance workforce mobility and efficiency. The technology is used for a number of practical purposes, ranging from bookkeeping and accountancy for small business to data entry. A high percentage of business owners see the the technology as a way to gain advantage in a competitive market. Small businesses have the most to gain from cloud adoption.
“For many SMEs, moving to the cloud is a big step but it is also a move that could be especially beneficial for this group,” said Simon Yeoman of Fasthosts. “The scalability of the cloud is something that smaller businesses are beginning to recognise as a benefit and factors like cost reduction are very important for smaller businesses.”
Huge companies, like Microsoft, Google, Amazon and IBM, are committed to providing effective, streamlined cloud systems for businesses and personal use, and with good reason – mobile demands are skyrocketing, and technological solutions need to keep pace with changing needs. Many large enterprises have already invested in the new technology, so SMEs have some catching up to do in order to frame a competitive business model.
Although 35 per cent of Fasthosts’ respondents said cloud technologies are ‘extremely important’ to business growth, ignorance may be halting uptake.
“In a lot of cases, a lack of education about the cloud is the barrier for small businesses that are considering making the jump,” Mr Yeoman said. “Helping educate the SME sector is something we take very seriously and we are beginning to see a real move in the market as levels of understanding rise.”