Online services now favoured by an increasing number of organisations.
Cloud computing for business is yet to go mainstream in Europe according to research from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. While cloud computing might not yet be widespread, the use of cloud services in the EU has still increased compared with statistics in 2014, and an uptake in cloud computing has been most noticeable in the UK.
Eurostat’s research shows that cloud adoption in the UK is outpacing the EU average, with nearly 42% of companies adopting some form of cloud service in 2018. This compares with an EU average of around 26%. Also looking at 2014 figures, the UK’s cloud adoption has increased by around 18% since then, compared with an average increase across EU countries of 7% over the same period.
As for what businesses are most using cloud services for, email is the key service, with 69% using a cloud solution for email, saving on the associated installation and maintenance costs of setting up a server infrastructure. Furthermore, 68% of organisations used cloud services for file storage, while a little over half use cloud computing for office software.
When it comes to more advanced applications, cloud computing presents businesses with opportunities outside of their own technological capabilities. 23% of businesses said that they used cloud computing platforms to take advantage of their computing power to run their own business software applications, and 29% used the cloud to access more advanced customer software applications for managing information about customers.
Benefits Of The Cloud
Eurostat’s research is clear to point out one of the key reasons why businesses would want to adopt cloud computing: cost. In accessing the computing resources hosted by third parties on the web, companies can save time, effort and money on building their own IT infrastructure, both hardware and software. Anything that can give an organisation a competitive advantage is worth consideration, and cloud computing certainly presents businesses with some potential upsides.
Cloud computing also provides businesses with a more flexible, on-demand solution to computing resources. For example, one obvious example of cloud software is Microsoft’s Office 365, which offers SMEs a ‘work anywhere’ solution that’s scalable and easy to set up.
The technological power that cloud computing offers can provide small businesses with services, software, storage and computing power that they simply could not achieve if attempting to set up such an infrastructure physically. The cloud has enabled businesses and employees to access powerful, web-based solutions from low-cost computers and mobile devices, making it possible to run businesses and networks in ways that simply were not possible before.
Of course, cloud computing services are only as strong as the internet underpinning them, and in this respect, technological advancements such as 5G and reliable broadband networks are a must if cloud computing is to continue to be adopted at the rate that UK businesses are currently achieving.
As we have written before, whichever services you choose – for example, whether you opt for public cloud services, more controllable private cloud options or a hybrid of the two – will ultimately depend on your business. Either way, businesses certainly seem to be increasingly looking to the cloud.
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