Cloud computing growing in popularity among SMEs​

Cloud computing growing in popularity among SMEs​

Cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), new research has suggested.

A study conducted by BT Business and the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) found that 69 per cent of the 319 businesses surveyed were already using cloud technology.

Remote working was found to be a key driver, with many firms keen to allow employees the flexibility to work away from the office.

The results of this approach have proved successful, with 53 per cent of respondents stating that the cloud had played a critical role in helping to maintain working practices.

The number of employees working on a flexible basis is likely to increase further over the coming years, mainly due to government legislation that states that any worker that has been at a company for more than 26 weeks has the right to request flexible working arrangements.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics, suggested that as many as 2.4 million employees worked from home in the first three months after the new law was passed, suggesting there is certainly an appetite for the flexible approach.

The potential increase in flexible working practices is likely to be fuelled by the cloud, with 79 per cent of survey respondents stating that they expect demand for cloud-based services to increase over the coming year, with another 83 per cent even claiming to prefer cloud applications to those found on traditional computing systems.

Danny Longbottom, BT Business’ managing director for UK SMEs, said: "Technology is at the heart of a lot of the dramatic changes we're seeing within the UK SME market – whether that's offering the realistic possibility of working from home, increasing the effectiveness of people when they're out of the office or opening up new markets, both in the UK and internationally."