Nearly 60% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have yet to begin using cloud computing services (where software and other technology is accessed online rather than installed on company premises), according to research by financial-services group Close Brothers. One problem is a lack of understanding: 73% of senior decision makers at SMEs said they did not know enough about what cloud computing entails. Security is also an issue: 36% feared they could not trust cloud solutions.
It's important that SMEs now overcome these hurdles, for cloud computing can level the playing field as they compete against larger rivals with deeper pockets. The pay-as-you-go model employed by cloud platforms means SMEs do not have to make large upfront investments in technology installations, while they also receive ongoing tech support. When they need to upgrade or acquire greater computing power that can be done automatically.
As for the security issue, many large businesses have now taken the view that cloud computing providers are better equipped to deliver higher standards of cyber security. So the need for enhanced security might be an argument for switching to cloud, rather than an impediment.
David Prosser is a regular MoneyWeek columnist, writing on small business and entrepreneurship, as well as pensions and other forms of tax-efficient savings and investments. David has been a financial journalist for almost 30 years, specialising initially in personal finance, and then in broader business coverage. He has worked for national newspaper groups including The Financial Times, The Guardian and Observer, Express Newspapers and, most recently, The Independent, where he served for more than three years as business editor.
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