New research from cloud services provider BCSG finds almost two thirds of small to medium sized businesses (64%) in the UK currently have an average of three cloud solutions in place to manage and streamline tasks such as email marketing and processing payments.
However as awareness of cloud technology grows, forecasts suggest that this figure will increase to an average of seven solutions over the next three years, representing an overall market growth of 72%.
Recent estimates from Gartner analysts predict that the cloud market will be worth £235bn by 2017. This echoes figures from McKinsey, which predicted that, by 2015, SMEs would have an approximate 50% share in the global cloud market, equating to $28bn (£17.9bn).
As the market moves to maturity, some of the areas expected to see the most growth include financial management apps like bookkeeping (46%), solutions that support SMEs with legal compliance such as legal document builders (45%) and file sharing and collaboration applications (47%).
Commenting on the research, John Davis, Managing Director at BCSG, said: “SMEs are incredibly important to maintaining a healthy business environment – in fact, they make up 95% of businesses in the UK, as well as accounting for half of the global economy. In a bid to become increasingly flexible, whilst streamlining their activities, SMEs have turned to cloud applications to help them to remain healthy and compete effectively with bigger companies.
He added: “Support and enthusiasm for cloud is already strong, as our research shows, but over the next three years it’s likely we’ll see SMEs using a wider variety of apps and solutions as cloud progresses from an early adopter phase to a mainstream solution.”