A new report suggests the current SMB cloud services market in the UK to be worth around £660 million.
The report, from UK-based hosting provider Parallels, also found that 42 per cent of SMBs with fewer than 10 employees say they will switch from in-house to hosted servers in the next three years, whilst 62 per cent of SMBs with up to 50 employees say they will do the same.
While a significant portion of online application use is still free, UK SMBs plan a net spending increase of at least 10 per cent.
John Zanni, VP of Service Provider Marketing and Alliances at Parallels, said that the migration to cloud services continues to have a major impact on how small and medium businesses acquire and manage their IT services:
“The challenge to service providers is to recognise that not all SMBs have the same priorities, so a tailored approach to delivering hosted services will need to be taken into consideration.”
The report also identified opportunities to provide cloud-based operational services such as hosted infrastructure and hosted communications, online backup and storage and hosted e-mail. It suggests that SMBs still trail larger companies when it comes to Web presence and the opportunities to sell e-commerce and social media management applications.
Only 28 per cent of small businesses and 31 per cent of medium-sized businesses have e-commerce capabilities, while only 15 per cent of micro SMBs (those with fewer than 10 employees) have such features. 50 per cent of UK SMBs still design their websites in-house, and these are the most common form of web presence for SMBs. Facebook is the second leading form of web presence with 28 per cent of SMBs actively using the website, followed by LinkedIn with 24 per cent.
36 per cent of small SMBs and 12 per cent of micro SMBs still use in-house email servers, with cost cited as being the main factor for switching to hosted or paid-hosted services.
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