By Ellen Davnall

iomart Group, the cloud computing and managed hosting services company, today announced continued strong demand for its IT outsourcing services. Together with the recent entry of accountancy software producer Sage into the cloud, it looks as though new areas of business are taking note of the cloud as an important area for expansion, with business clients recognising the great advantages its mobility and accessibility can bring.

Angus MacSween, CEO of iomart Group commented, “We believe that cloud computing has reached a tipping point, and has significantly moved through the early adopter phase over the past six months. Almost every company, regardless of sector or size that we speak to is considering either a full
or part cloud solution for their IT needs.”

MacSween continued, “The differing flavours, or definitions, of cloud computing are now becoming widely accepted and understood, and definite purchasing trends are
beginning to emerge. We are finding that the micro business is embracing the public cloud, whilst the enterprise and mid market is seeking the reassurance, scalability, security and reliability that a high availability
hybrid or private cloud offers.”

Meanwhile, Sage's recent move marks a change in attitude for the traditional 'on-premises' operator, recognising that many businesses now view out on the road or working from home as viable extensions of their workplace, and require software and IT applications to be available to employees outside their offices.

It also shows a significant shift in UK accountancy practice; Anders Bjørnsbo, UK Operations Director of E-conomic, the established cloud based accountancy system, observed that "The UK accountancy profession has been a very slow adopter of cloud-based systems, particularly when compared to their European counterparts. The fact that Sage has entered the market — albeit belatedly — will mean that the profession will now really have to sit up and take notice."

Bjørnsbo went on to predict that it will soon be possible to observe a surge in the adoption of online solutions by professional accountants, led by clients' demands, as cloud and virtualised environments continue their fast track to becoming the de facto method of delivering technology
services and applications at the enterprise level.