UK SMEs see their future in the cloud

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Cloud computing features strongly in the plans of SMEs for the coming year, with 57 percent planning increased adoption, according to a new report.

The study from UK IT services provider OGL Computer shows that 59 percent plan on increasing the use of applications such as Microsoft Office 365, Teams and SharePoint.

But despite these plans, 76 percent of UK SMEs are nervous about moving from an on-premise IT infrastructure to a cloud infrastructure due to concerns over data security. The study also shows 81 percent confirmed that they have suffered a data breach or cyberattack, with two in five (37 percent) admitting they have suffered multiple breaches.

The study finds that 66 percent are already using the cloud and hosted platforms. There's considerable interest in emerging technologies too, 59 percent are keen to adopt 5G, 55 percent robotics, 39 percent automation, 39 percent AI and 37 percent blockchain. Top reasons given for adopting new technology are tackling cyber threats (51 percent) ahead of enabling easier communications with customers (40 percent).

With 50 percent of respondents currently using, and 34 percent planning to adopt, technology enabling increased remote working, more progressive virtual tools, such as virtual reality conferencing, may become the preferred form of communication -- even over face-to-face meetings. AI will also likely play a major role in managing remote staff.

Paul Colwell, technical director of OGL Computer and its cyber division, CyberGuard Technologies, says, "Whether deploying innovative technologies to protect a business, communicate better with customers or improve productivity, our research reveals that SMEs are thinking ahead. They are ready to test new products and services and are increasing their IT and security budgets to benefit from emerging technologies that will change the way we work."

The full report is available from the OGL website.

Image credit: tomwang/depositphotos.com

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