Why do British SMEs shun the cloud?

Accountants may be interested to learn that British SMEs lag behind their European counterparts when it comes to adopting cloud computing, according to the results of a new survey.

VMware surveyed 1,600 companies throughout Europe and discovered that an average of 60% of small and medium sized enterprises have adopted some form of interent-based IT. However, that figure drops to just 48% of SMEs in the UK.

Remote storage is the most commonly used cloud based service, whilst email, word processing and spreadsheets are the most commonly used software applications.

Chris Jagusz, from IT specialist Daisy Group, pointed out that the earliest adopters of the cloud are entrepreneurs who are technically orientated and have no existing installed systems. Services firms are also happy to take to the cloud because it saves them the hassle of managing their IT technology.

Online accountants can benefit if clients adopt cloud computing as they can then access a firm’s accounts remotely. Accounting software companies, Sage and Intuit, have entered the market this year with cloud based accounts packages. Both companies offer a free basic version for start-ups and more sophisticated options through monthly subscriptions.

From a cost saving point of view, it can work out cheaper to take to the cloud. Purchasing software and the requisite licences can be expensive and then you need somebody to maintain the systems. The cloud takes away all this expenditure and replaces it with a single monthly charge, and in some instances the service is free.

Microsoft and Tata consultancy Services have recently launched on-demand business software platforms for SMEs and IBM is planning to release a new product range shortly.

Like it or loathe it, the cloud is here to stay and the more savvy business owners will be taking full advantage of it.

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