Last updated: 29.08.13

SMEs to benefit from investing in cloud technology

Cloud computing and related technology can bring many benefits to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK.

This is the opinion of Sanjay Parekh, co-founder and managing director of webexpenses, who described the cloud as a "great leveler" and a platform upon which smaller firms can compete with larger rivals on a balanced playing field.

He claimed in a post for Real Business that SMEs must place greater emphasis on training their workers in cloud computing and its various programmes in order to unlock the immediate benefits.

"Training doesn’t need to cost the earth as many providers will offer it to their customers at a very reasonable rate, with some even offering free trials to companies who want to dip their toe in the water," Mr Parekh remarked.

The expert further pointed to the fact that cloud technology encourages a remote working culture that is more flexible for employees, which is particularly useful as office space can cost firms a huge amount to rent.

It also means that staff can - if needs be - work from home and mix up their daily routine, something that is guaranteed to improve productivity and retention rates in the long term.

With this in mind, it might also be worth employers making company resources available online, so that they can be accessed by workers from any location and at any time. This applies to training materials, as it can be fairly expensive organising in-house workshops and publishing e-learning documents on the internet is beneficial to both parties.

Mr Parekh pointed to recent research carried out by the Manchester Business School that revealed 88 per cent of British businesses that migrated to the cloud saw their profits rise, showing how the technology has many advantages in terms of optimisation.

He concluded: "As cloud technology advances, so will the cost savings and business benefits for UK firms, especially for those at the smaller end of the scale."