I recently attended the 7th Cloud Circle forum focussed in London in the course of which speakers from Microsoft, InTechnology and IBM considered the impact that the Cloud is starting to have on UK business. The momentum behind the drive toward utility computing by businesses shying away from traditional network implementations continues to gather pace, partially driven by the fact that 70% of IT expenditure within the SMB marketplace is focused on existing network maintenance.
‘Cloud computing heralds an evolution of business no less influential than e-business’ according to Gartner , which is bold statement indeed. If this appears to be hyperbole, it is worth noting that the Cloud marketplace topped $70 billion in 2010 and Ovum (the leading research organisation) predict that 50% of the ICT market will be comprised of SaaS/Cloud offerings by 2020.
[ Cloud Services are becoming an integral part of daily operations for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). The Cloud Services - Mobile & Remote Working in 2011 white paper outlines some of the ways that successful SMEs are using cloud-based services and business tools to their advantage to drive their business forward.]
Nor is this drive exclusively limited to SMB/enterprise level companies seeking to shift the emphasis from capex to opex, as 40% of SMEs are predicted to be partially or fully using Cloud based systems by 2014. SMEs as the fleet of foot businesses that are continuously changing shape and jostling for position/seeking to exploit weaknesses in the market leading propositions are ideally placed to leverage the flexibility and collaborative working opportunities presented by Cloud based solutions, quite apart from the financial dynamics.
Piers Corfield is an experienced consultant and writer on the impact of technology on both the business and the individual.
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