New research from Sage has found a sizeable gap in knowledge around cloud technology in UK small and medium sized businesses. The August 2014 survey of decision makers in the UK found that while a little over two in five (41%) of those surveyed fully understand what cloud computing is, over half of all respondents (57%) admitted to having only partial understanding of cloud technology.
Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed claimed to have no plans to move to the cloud today, but recognise the benefits, while one in ten respondents currently have plans to move some or all of their business to cloud based storage or software, suggesting there is a large mass of businesses that are still to make the step.
While a lack of knowledge was pervasive amongst over half of business respondents, the reasons for not moving to the cloud were interesting. As usual security was the key reason for not moving to the cloud, however the second and third place reasons were more unusual.
Worries over security and internet connectivity
Anxieties over security and where data is stored remained the biggest barrier for more than a third (38%) of businesses around the cloud, followed closely by the risk of downtime (25%) and challenges caused by slow internet (19%). This suggests cloud knowledge and practicality go hand in hand and is a worrying indictment of the internet connectivity suffered by many smaller businesses.
Rob Davis, Head of Technology for Sage 200 Online, commented on the findings: “There’s a recognition that the worlds of business and technology have changed - the cloud has opened up new ways of doing business, of communicating, collaborating, and managing data. But while companies are becoming smarter about their use of the cloud and it continues to become a more viable option, the reality is that there’s still a pervasive knowledge gap amongst SMBs that threatens to hold back cloud adoption.”
Davis continued: “As the adage goes, knowledge is power. Businesses are fast waking up to the potential for cloud and mobile technologies to transform their business, and it’s evident there is a large number of businesses considering when to make the transition. According to our research over a third of firms don’t actually believe there to be any barriers to their cloud adoption, so firms that upskill to break down cloud knowledge gaps will be well positioned to break through the pack and quickly leverage the benefits of the cloud.”