There has been no shortage of analysis of the cloud, and the business benefits it can bring. Unsurprisingly for an emerging technology, there has been a great deal of confusion about what it is and how businesses can use it.
The uptake of cloud computing has even been slow among smaller businesses, which traditionally tend to be quicker to adopt new technologies. One piece of research found only 9% of small and medium-sized businesses were using the cloud at the end of 2011.
I think this is set to change and change dramatically. Our research found that one in four small businesses are transforming the way they work by embracing the cloud. Nearly half of these firms started using online software to run their business in the past 12 months.
The adoption of cloud technology amongst small businesses is really starting to gain momentum – something we have seen with our own cloud software. Reduced spending, more efficient use of time and the ability to stay connected regardless of location are factors that can improve business productivity, performance and - ultimately - stability and growth.
However, although adoption is increasing, confusion still exists. Many of our customers have needed advice about how to move services over into the cloud, and help to understand how it can best benefit their business.
If your business is considering a move to the cloud, here's my layman’s guide to what to think about before making the transition:
Nick Goode is head of Sage One, a cloud-based accounts and payroll service from Sage (UK) Limited that requires no formal training and includes FREE 24/7 customer support and advice. Register for a FREE 30 day trial now or visit www.facebook.com/SageOneUK to find out more.