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SMEs still not getting the cloud

Small firms are crying out for education around the cloud with many not using the technology

It feels as if the need to educate customers about the benefits of the cloud is a stage that has passed, but that's far from the case in the SME market.

Close Brothers has revealed that a staggering 58% of UK SMEs do not used cloud-based computing for software, storage or other remote services.

Not only are that many not using the cloud for those purposes but a third of SMEs claimed that they did not use hosted technology at all.

The old chestnut of trust remained at the heart of the issue with a third of firms admitting they did not trust their data would be safe. Other hurdles included a belief by some that moving to the cloud would be too time intensive and 16% were open enough to blame a lack of budget.

Highlighting the need for education the Close Brothers survey found that 73% of senior SME decision makers did not understand the cloud, with 10% holding their hands up to holding no knowledge on the subject at all.

Those customers with an annual turnover of less than £250,000 are the ones most likely to be having problems and would benefit from resellers guiding them through the process.

“SMEs appear to still be at the early stages of adopting cloud technology, but these businesses could gain the most. Companies should consider how virtual servers could be used in their organisation and what kind of system might best fit their specific requirements," said David Thomson, CEO of Close Brothers Invoice Finance.

“The cloud offers a number of benefits for smaller businesses, including increased storage space, remote access to data, and reduced costs. It can also protect against a loss event as companies no longer need to rely on hardcopies of documents, manual back-ups or local infrastructure," he added.

Michael Tso, CEO of Cloudian, agreed that there was still plenty of work to be done to educate customers around the cloud and pointed out that the issue was not confined to just the smaller customers.

He said that managed service providers were ideally situated to step in and help customers take more steps into the cloud.

"An MSP can say that they are going to take care of it and give them a price point that they are looking for and tell the customer that they will be responsible and that's the value the MSP can bring," he added.

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