By Daniel Hunter

Just 12 per cent of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have adopted cloud solutions into their operations, despite it being this year’s high-tech talking point, a study from INFORM has revealed.

The report shows that while 68 per cent of SMEs can envisage adopting the cloud at some point, 76 per cent haven’t done so because of concerns over safety and a lack of familiarity towards the technology.

“These results show that companies still view the cloud with caution, perceiving it to present great risk to the business, especially with regards to data safety," Karsten Horn, director of inventory and supply chain division at INFORM, commented.

“While there has been much discussion around the cloud, it’s clear that this isn’t resonating with businesses, as the low adoption rate comes from an uncertainty which I believe is being caused by conflicting information around the technology.

“This uncertainty should be easily ratified. Technology is an enabler to succeed, and a failure to consider cloud solutions could have long-term ramifications for SMEs; leaving them flailing behind their competitors.

“Cloud services offer real benefits, such as reducing operating costs, streamlining processes and making data readily available to the entire business. Within the area of logistics, we’ve seen web-based sales planning provide savings in the five-figure region. In a recessionary environment, this kind of result could prove to be the difference between survival and long-term growth, and SMEs must be aware of this.”

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