Contractors and SMEs turn to the cloud

A survey carried out by BT and the BCC (British Chambers of Commerce) has revealed that SMEs and contractors are changing the way in which they do business with the help of cloud computing.

A total of 319 businesses took part in the survey. 69% said that they were already using cloud computing services to provide staff members who work outside the office with remote access to data, with 53% saying this was essential in maintaining their current working practices.

Workers use around six cloud-based services each month on average and 79% of those who took part said the demand for these services is set to increase over the next year; in addition, 83% said they preferred cloud computing services to traditional systems.

68% of those surveyed said the use of smartphones has had the biggest impact on working practices over the last year, with better Wi-Fi also contributing.

The BT Business MD for UK SMEs, Danny Longbottom, explained that new technology is responsible for a lot of changes for small businesses, such as opening up the option of working from home. New technology allows staff to work more effectively when they are away from the office and there is the potential to open up new markets both at home and abroad.

Increased flexibility and mobility are also important to contractors, who are often away from their desks and need to access files on the move.