UK Lags Behind Other European Nations in Adoption of Cloud Computing
According to recent research from cloud computing company VMware, only 48% of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK use the cloud, compared with an average of 60% across Europe. This was revealed after a survey of 1,600 companies across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain and the UK..
I had earlier written on support for cloud computing in the UK, especially in the sectors of education and real estate (See: How Can Cloud Computing Help in Education? and Real Estate And Cloud Computing ). There has also been an earlier article on cloud computing in Europe, especially the European Union of which the UK is not a member (See: Where Does Europe Stand on Cloud Computing?).
In spite of some support for cloud computing, this is not the first time that UK small businesses have been found to be lacking in their adoption of this emergent technology. According to a survey undertaken in January 2011 by freelancing site PeoplePerHour.com among 1,300 SMEs in the UK, it was found that as many as 74% did not use cloud computing. What was even more cause for concern is that 43% of the respondents did not even know what the term “cloud computing” meant.
Also, mere knowledge of the technology was no guarantee of acceptability, considering that 36% of those who did understand what cloud computing is about did not deem it necessary to adopt it in their businesses. As to the reasons behind this hesitation, security concerns, which have been the bugbear for large corporations, came in second behind cost concerns at 9% and 10% respectively. Also, 2% cited reliability issues as the reason holding them back from embracing cloud computing.
However, there is a chance that the lower figures reported for the UK may be because of a narrower definition of “cloud computing.” According to industry analyst Clive Longbottom, “In some countries definitions of the cloud may be looser and include Google maps and virus updates, whereas in the UK definitions are likely to be more specific.”
At the same time, there’s no question that the UK lags behind several countries in Europe. “As Longbottom says, “The Nordic regions tend to be more pragmatic about using the cloud, as does Germany. But in the UK SMEs tend to be a bit more conservative – technology still scares a lot of them.”
By Sourya Biswas