The SME sector is seen as the engine that has the potential to drive the UK economy and it looks like being capable of doing the same with cloud services with a significant number planning to invest in the next couple of years.
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Research from cloud services provider BCSG has revealed that 72% of SMEs plan to adopt cloud services by 2017, which will add to the significant number that have already got some solutions in place.
Right now SMEs have an average of three cloud solutions in place but that is expected to more than double to seven in the next couple of years as the use of hosted technology spreads across the business.
Popular areas for investments include financial applications, legal compliance and file sharing and collaboration and the expectation is that over the next couple of years the SME market could be responsible for around half of the spending on cloud.
John Davis, managing director at BCSG, said that the channel had to be aware of the position the SME sector played in the wider economy as well as the prospects they presented on the investment front.
"SMEs are incredibly important to maintaining a healthy business environment - in fact, they make up 95 per cent of businesses in the UK, as well as accounting for half of the global economy. In a bid to become increasingly flexible, whilst streamlining their activities, SMEs have turned to cloud applications to help them to remain healthy and compete effectively with bigger companies," he said.
"Support and enthusiasm for cloud is already strong, as our research shows, but over the next three years it's likely we'll see SMEs using a wider variety of apps and solutions as cloud progresses from an early adopter phase to a mainstream solution," he added.