23/07/2013 08:43 BST | Updated 21/09/2013 06:12 BST

Midsize Businesses Should Make More Use of Cloud Solutions


Technology has come a long way over recent years with advancements in areas such as broadband, data accessing solutions, and IT benefiting consumers and businesses. However, despite these advancements it seems that many businesses in the UK are continuing to miss out on the benefits due to failure to deploy IT technology to the same level as their larger counterparts.

A recent report released by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) claimed that many midsized businesses were missing out on productivity benefits due to their lack of IT activities. However, officials from the CEBR went on to state that these businesses could make up for this in part by making use of cloud based solutions.

In an analysis of businesses with between 50 and 249 employees, the study showed that when it came to intra company data sharing solutions, only 66 percent of MSBs were making use of this technology compared to 84 percent of larger businesses. This is despite the fact that companies such as Exosite offer a range of data connectivity solutions for businesses.

The data also showed that only 29 percent of MSBs were using customer relationship management systems compared to 44 percent of larger businesses. There were various others areas where there was a sharp difference between technology take up of MSBs compared to large businesses. MSBs had significantly lower take up rates when it came to areas such as online selling, enterprise resource planning usage, and overall IT solution adoption.

An official from Cordy's, which commissioned the study, said that while MSBs were lagging behind larger rivals when it came to IT adoption, they could make up for it by looking at cloud based solutions. He said that this was a solution that would help them to increase productivity more quickly and at a lower cost, which in turn meant that these businesses would be able to remain competitive. Given that productivity amongst MSBs fell by 4.8 percent between 2007 and 2011, this could prove a very important opportunity for businesses that are keen to make up for lost time.

The report went on to state that the use of cloud based solutions could benefit MSBs in a number of ways. This included getting products to market more quickly, reducing costs, boosting productivity, and increasing business development opportunities. The CEBR also claimed that continued adoption of cloud based solutions could help to see around 35,000 new MSBs created by 2015.

Worryingly, a separate report from research and analysis firm Forrester suggests that only one third of businesses in Britain are currently using or considering cloud based services as part of their operations. Many are said to be spending more on hardware and traditional technology than on more recent and advanced technology such as cloud based solutions.