How the cloud could help offer a boost to SMBs (and the UK economy)

How the cloud could help offer a boost to SMBs (and the UK economy)

The importance of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to the UK economy is not lost on politicians and policymakers, with recent figures from the Department of Business and Innovation revealing that SMBs make up 99 per cent of all companies.

Smaller firms also account for 59 per cent of all private sector employment, as well as 49 per cent of private turnover.

The importance of SMBs has increased over the course of the last ten years, with the number of companies having grown from 3.5 million in 2000, to 4.5 million in 2011, according to figures from the Federation of Small Businesses.

However, it has not been all plain sailing, with many smaller companies having been hit by the negative impact of the recession.

It means that companies need to ensure that they are as financially efficient as possible, with little room budget mistakes, especially within an IT infrastructure.

It is for this reason that new pieces of technology such as cloud computing have become increasingly popular among SMBs across the country.

Managers and owners have become aware of the number of ways in which the cloud can save their business money.

Scalability, ease of use,  deployment and pay-per-use are all features that are ideally suited to a firm that is focused on becoming financially streamlined.

But it is not only the company accounts that could be benefitting from the implementation of the cloud, as it could also help workers themselves become more productive.

An increasing number of employees in offices all over the nation are beginning to place a greater value on the practice of flexible working, with more and more firms starting to implement strategies such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies as a result.

Cloud computing, due to the fact that it allows workers to access a company's infrastructure remotely, means that it can play an important role.

Recent research from  O2 Business and the Centre for Economic and Business Research found that flexible working practices has increased by 84 per cent each hour for employees, something that could provide a much-needed boost to SMBs, and perhaps the ailing UK economy.