Over half of UK SMBs do not have a cloud strategy in place and risk losing competitive advantage in their sectors, according to figures released by Close Brothers Technology Services (CBTS).
CBTS, part of Close Brothers merchant banking group, said that of the 906 SMBs it surveyed, a total of 464, or 51 per cent, said they were not formalising a cloud computing strategy, with less than a third of small businesses saying they had a plan in place.
Ian McVicar, CEO of CBTS, said: "The results of the survey are quite sobering and make it clear that there is some way to go before business owners fully appreciate the importance of the cloud.
"Fundamentally, cloud computing means companies can avoid, for example, purchasing and hosting servers, along with other infrastructure costs.
"This is not only a cost saving, but means companies can focus on their core business instead of spending both time and resource on establishing and maintaining an IT infrastructure."
Of the businesses that took part in the survey, 19 per cent said they were unsure of their cloud strategy.
However, Steve Ellis, managing director of Reading-based MSP 365itms, said the results could be somewhat skewed because small businesses may be using cloud solutions without the particular need for a dedicated strategy.
He gave examples of cloud-based solutions that SMBs will likely be using without necessarily knowing they are using the cloud.
"They're probably using Office 365, basically a cloud solution; and they might be using Salesforce if they've got any CRM - that's a cloud-based solution," he said.
"They probably don't have anybody running their IT so they don't think they need a cloud strategy; they're just buying things as a service to solve particular issues that just so happen to be based on cloud without their knowing.
"There's probably a bit of that going on under the radar, but it's difficult to get statistics on it."
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