SMEs still not fully embracing the cloud

SMEs still not fully embracing the cloud

Many small or medium-sized enterprises (SME) are still not fully embracing cloud technology as part of their business plan, research has suggested.

A survey sponsored by SAP and conducted by Oxford Economics, gauged the responses of over 2,100 executives working in 21 different countries.

It found that many SMEs, while accepting the need to go global in order to stay ahead within their own market, were more interested in other technologies such as business intelligence and mobile solutions rather than the implementation of cloud technology.

The lack of companies deciding to take up such an approach has surprised many experts, including Edward Cone, managing editor and senior analyst at Oxford Economics.

He said: "SMEs are using ERP business management to track business, but cloud computing is not widely adopted as expected, which is a surprise because the cloud does help SMEs to adopt other technology in a timely and less expensive way."

Mr Cone added: "The road ahead is well marked for SMEs. Globalisation, transformation and technology will be the hallmarks of successful small and midsize companies."

According to the research, the number of SMEs expecting to adopt the cloud over the next three years is still set to increase from 35 per cent to 47 per cent, suggesting that some companies are beginning to recognise the benefits of such technology, as firms look for ways in which to expand outside of their own market.

The biggest rises are set to occur within larger-sized companies (60 per cent), while the adoption rates among smaller enterprises is expected to stay at around 40 per cent.

The survey implies that one of the main reasons why the increase is not higher, is due to the fact that 35 per cent of SMEs do not understand the benefits of the cloud.

Those advantages will need to be recognised if smaller businesses want to compete within global markets.

Nearly 60 per cent of companies claim that they are facing greater competition from abroad, while a further 59 percent say they are now competing with larger firms. Not adopting the cloud could therefore be a decision that leaves some firms behind.