A greater proportion of British SMEs are embracing heavy use of cloud technology than their counterparts elsewhere in western Europe
Britain prides itself of being ahead of the curve on tech. Not only does it have a thriving tech startup ecosystem but it also seems British SMEs are far quicker to pick up technology than their overseas rivals. New research has revealed that Blighty’s small businesses are becoming world-leaders in cloud adoption, only narrowly being edged out by the US.
Conducted by Exact, the online business software firm, the 2015 Cloud Barometer surveyed just under 3,000 SME leaders across the UK, the USA, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands to identify which nations had the highest proportion of heavy cloud users, defined as those using three or more different solutions. It revealed that 27% of UK businesses are heavy cloud users, compared to a quarter of Dutch SMEs, 24% of both French and Belgian SMEs and just 10% of German small businesses. The research also revealed that nearly half of the UK’s small businesses now use cloud software.
However, it does seem that whilst the UK has been quick to adopt cloud software compared to its European neighbours, it isn’t particularly proactive when it comes to seeking new solutions. According to the research, 61% of British SMEs, compared to a global average of 49%, don’t look for new software until they are forced to by previous versions going out of date. Meanwhile, just 10% of the UK’s small businesses actively look out for new solutions to help boost their growth; the lowest percentage out of any of the nations surveyed.
“Few business leaders would argue with the fact that having the right software tools in place can be vital to success,” said Erik van der Meijden, CEO of Exact. “In fact, 63% of the SMEs who took part said they felt that technology is going to have a strong impact on the competitive landscape in their market over the next three years.”
Lucy Fox, general manager of cloud solutions at Exact UK, added: “There is a real opportunity here for UK SMEs to build on the success and status they hold on the global stage. To do so, businesses need to ensure they stay competitive, efficient and provide the very best in customer service. Cloud adoption levels appear to be growing and highlighting the tangible benefits it can offer through research like this will hopefully encourage more UK SMEs to follow suit.”
Clearly the UK doesn’t shy away from embracing new technology. But for any SME looking to retain an edge over the competition, it’s evidently worth making sure it avails itself of the latest tools available.