UK firms not formalising cloud computing strategy

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14% of UK SMEs were of the opinion that a cloud computing strategy was not essential.

The majority of UK small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) have no plans to formalise a cloud computing strategy, according to the findings from Close Brothers’ quarterly survey of UK SME owners and senior management from a range of sectors.

Of the more than 900 businesses which took part in the survey, over half (464) answered ‘no’ to the question ‘is your organisation formalising a cloud computing strategy?’, with only 266 (29%) responding positively.

The remaining 176 (19%) were ‘unsure’, according to the survey.

Companies in the North East (62%) and Wales (65%) were reportedly the least likely to have a cloud computing strategy, while 50% of businesses in the capital were clear about the requirement for a strategy.

When asked to rate the importance of having a formal cloud computing strategy, less than 1 in 10 (9%) of businesses said it was ‘very important’, with 24% agreeing it was ‘important’. However, 14% of SMEs were of the opinion that it was not essential at all.

CEO of Close Brothers Technology Services, Ian McVicar commented: “Cloud computing is one the key digital developments of the last few years.

“It’s very important businesses don’t get left behind because it can be used as a competitive advantage. The results of the survey are quite sobering and make it clear that there is some way to go before business owners fully appreciate the importance of the cloud.

“Fundamentally, cloud computing means companies can avoid, for example, purchasing and hosting servers, along with other infrastructure costs. This is not only a cost saving, but means companies can focus on their core business instead of spending both time and resource on establishing and maintaining an IT infrastructure.”

Director of Technology Services, Sean Callanan added: “For any business with digital requirements, a cloud strategy can help companies understand more clearly how and when they are going to achieve their business objectives.

“It’s been proven that having applications on the cloud, for example, provides a better user experience along with improved security and performance.

“To help demystify the subject, we’re currently working with IDC on a cloud computing vendor spotlight. The paper [Making Your Journey to the Cloud Successful] presents an overview of IT cloud services, giving end-user organisations guidance and advice on the advantages and challenges involved in the ‘journey’ to the cloud.”