Financial and eCommerce set to benefit
A new survey by cloud vendor Gooroo has revealed that UK small businesses will head towards the cloud in an attempt to reduce costs during the economic downturn.
Over half (54%) of respondents indicated that they expected to be using cloud computing by the end of 2010 while 12% said they were already using the technology.
The majority of respondents (65%) said that a reduction in overall IT costs was the main driving force behind their adoption of cloud computing. Companies said that improved efficiency (50%), greater business flexibility (50%), easy set-up and management (46%) and access to key business applications from any location (42%) were other cloud adoption drivers.
There is still a fair amount of confusion about the definition of the term cloud computing but 45% of respondents said they were familiar with the concept with a further 24% claiming to know a little about it. 28% said they had not heard to term.
Gooroo’s general manager, Dean Miles, said: “The data shows that the interest in cloud computing and SaaS is just as strong with SMEs as it is with enterprises, because of the same drivers: lower costs, easier management and flexibility. Why shouldn’t smaller businesses get the same benefits as their larger counterparts?”
New accounts/financial software was listed by 50% of respondents as the cloud-based application that would benefit their business most, followed by retail and e-commerce management software with 25%. Stock control (22%), enterprise resources planning (ERP – 21%) and customer relationship management (CRM – 18%) were also mentioned.
“The finding that surprised us was many SMEs were not just planning to use cloud applications to get new functionality: in many cases they wanted to replace software they already had. 90% of respondents said they already used an accounts package, yet this was top of the list of desirable cloud software. To me, this underlines the benefits of the cloud model compared with traditional software deployments,” Miles said.
Gooroo did not reveal how many firms it spoke to, but said that it quizzed directors and senior managers at UK small businesses. Just over half (52%) of the respondents had up to 10 members of staff, and 76% had up to 50 employees.
Gooroo offers cloud-based business management software aimed at businesses with sales up to £20m. Its products offer accounting, CRM, ERP, stock control and eCommerce services, where it is likely to face competition from Salesforce.com and RightNow Technologies.