Storing data remotely is the most common service used, finds study
British small businesses slower than their peers in other European countries in adopting internet-based software, storage and communication services.
A survey of 1,600 companies by VMware suggests that the UK is lagging behind the rest of Europe with 60% of SMEs in Europe adopting some internet-based IT compared to only 48% in the UK.
The study found that the most common service used by SMEs was storing data remotely rather than on the office server or PC hard drives.
Email and office software, like word processing and spreadsheets, were the most common software applications to be accessed from the cloud rather than installed directly.
IT specialist Daisy Group retail managing director Chris Jagusz said, "The earliest adopters are technically oriented start-ups with no installed base of systems, people who are comfortable with putting their applications and data in the crowd."
"After that, it tends to be almost the opposite – services firms who don’t want the hassle of managing the technology and are happy for a cloud firm to do it for them."
Industry consultants IDC estimate £9.8bn was spent globally by companies on cloud-related technology in 2009 and forecasts this to increase to $55bn by 2014. Spending by SMEs represents almost half the total.
HCL Technologies EMEA VP Ashish Gupta said the difference now is that the concept of cloud computing has matured and come into the enterprise mainstream and some "cloud type" offerings exist which enterprises can design into their future service needs.
Gupta said, "The hype on cloud is going thru the roof purely because people assume that cloud will mean – infinite capacity at near zero costs and 100% flexibility as what cloud will offer. These survey findings prove that current cloud services are far away from this truth."