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UK SMEs leading the way for cloud adoption in Europe

A global research study, commissioned by business software provider Exact comparing how SMEs in different countries are faring re technology adoption, suggests the UK has the second highest number of 'heavy' cloud users.

The ‘Exact 2015 SME Cloud Barometer’ – a study of just under 3,000 SME leaders across the UK, the USA, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium – found those who are ‘heavy users’ of cloud software (defined as having three or more different cloud products in place) achieved far higher revenue growth and more than double the profit of those using fewer cloud products.

And as stated, it's found the UK has the second highest number of ‘heavy’ cloud software users (27 per cent), just marginally behind the USA (29 per cent).

This compares to 25 per cent of SMEs in the Netherlands, 24 per cent in Belgium and France, and just 10 per cent in Germany. Overall, just under half of UK SMEs (47 per cent) are now using at least one cloud business software tool.

Significantly, those who have embraced the cloud and are using multiple software products as part of their business processes showed on average 26 per cent growth in revenue in 2015, compared to 14 per cent among those using one or two online solutions, and 10 per cent among those who don’t use any cloud solutions at all.

In terms of what is driving cloud adoption, IT cost savings is the primary reason for UK SMEs (32 per cent) – unlike everywhere else where better security was the main reason for switching away from on-premise software solutions or traditional pen-and-paper style processes, particularly in Germany (36 per cent). In all cases, easy access to information was cited as the third biggest benefit for moving business and finance processes online.

For Lucy Fox, General Manager, Cloud Solutions at Exact UK, “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.”

(c) 2015