SMEs stand to save through cloud technology

SMEs stand to save through cloud technology

Over two-thirds of small or mid-sized enterprises (SME) in the UK have saved money though implementing cloud technology, according to a new survey.

The research conducted by comScore on behalf of Microsoft, canvassed the opinion of 107 SMEs in the UK using a cloud system, and compared them to 105 companies that did not. Each of the firms surveyed used between 25 and 499 PCs.

It found that 68 per cent of SMEs claiming to have moved to the cloud have made savings, with some stating that such a strategy used "fewer internal IT resources", and allowed workers to "spend less time managing IT overall".

However, when the research focused on businesses that had decided not to take up thetechnology, it became clear that there are still a number of issues.

Just over half (51 per cent) of non-cloud using SMEs said that they remained unconvinced about

the reliability of the system, also citing concerns over "the lack of control over data in the cloud".

Another big perception being expressed by many firms relates to security, with 52 per cent declaring it to be the main reason for not implementing the technology.

But the findings of the survey did little to support the idea that data is insecure, with 94 per cent of SMEs adopting the cloud claiming that they had "experienced security benefits in the cloud that they didn’t have with their on-premises service, such as up-to-date systems, up-to-date antivirus protection and spam email management".

More than a third (31 per cent) also said that perceived problems relating to regulatory compliance was a key reason for choosing not to use the system.

However, a similar number said that they could be persuaded into changing their minds if industry standards for cloud security, along with government regulation, were to be introduced and enforced.

But the fact that cloud adoption has led to an increase in privacy protection for 68 per cent of SMEs, means that such grievances could be fuelled by ongoing misconceptions within the industry.