Jun 16th 2014

Cloud computing a hit with 78% of UK small businesses

London, 16th June 2014; New research from digital fax provider eFax has revealed that accessible and affordable cloud computing solutions such as Google Docs, GoTo Meeting and Livedrive are now being used by 78% of small businesses as part of everyday business.

As London Technology Week kicks off today, the research also highlighted how important smartphones and tablets are to small businesses with 87% reporting to use smartphones in their working life, and nearly two thirds (64%) also using tablet computers. When compared to Ofcom’s figures from earlier in the year, which showed that 56% per cent of adults in the UK now own a smartphone, SMEs are clearly taking full advantage of the latest technological advances to drive the business forward.

Technology is also changing the way small businesses operate, with 68% of those surveyed working for a company that allowed employees to telecommute, and 49% admitting to spending just half their time in the office.

Unsurprisingly for smaller companies, the responsibility for IT operations remains with the business owner in the majority of cases (64%), with only 20% employing an IT Manager, and less still (9%) using an outsourced service provider. However, 29% of those surveyed will be looking to recruit for IT roles this year, demonstrating the ever increasing importance of technology in the day-to-day running of any business.

Paul Kinsella, General Manager, j2 Global Europe, commented on the findings, “It’s clear that information technology now lies at the heart of many small businesses, even if they are not what you would traditionally describe as a technology company. Their use of technology to enable better ways of working will be important if they are to set themselves apart from the competition and achieve sustainable growth.”

Almost all participants in the survey (98%) were optimistic about their company’s growth prospects over the course of 2014. But there are plenty of companies with a similar mind-set in the market, and competition was seen as the second biggest barrier to achieving growth (31%), behind the economy (34%).

Kinsella added, “Technology has changed the way we interact as human beings and how we do business forever. Your place of work is no longer restricted to one location, and employees are increasingly logging on and working from any location. Working remotely is now a part of everyday life for small businesses and if you’re waiting on a contract to come through, but can’t be in the office to receive it, or perhaps don’t have an office to receive it at, then cloud-based mobile or tablet applications like internet faxing can give you access to important documents on the go.”

eFax is releasing the results of its small business survey in a series of announcements over the summer and to get the inside track on what’s coming next, contact [email protected] for more information.

About the survey

The survey was carried out by j2 Global in March 2014 across 125 UK businesses. Results from the survey are available at efax.co.uk/newsroom.