December 20, 2013 - Rachel Miller
Concerns about all aspects of IT are commonplace among the UK's SMEs, but it is security and data protection that tops the list of worries, according to a new survey.
The poll of British SMEs, by WeWorkEverywhere, finds that 67% of respondents are most worried about IT security and data protection. And, even though cloud services have moved into the mainstream, 60% of those surveyed still feel that security in the cloud is a major concern.
Overall, only 24% of respondents are satisfied with their current IT systems. The research also found that 40% are mainly concerned about IT budgets, 32% are worried about upgrades and on-going maintenance costs, and 34% are not happy about their ability to access files and documents when they are working remotely.
The uptake of cloud services is now widespread according to the findings, with 59% of SMEs using some kind of cloud-based system. The majority are using it for email (33%) and data storage/back-up (33%). Other cloud systems being used were accounting and billing (15%), HR (14%) and CRM (14%).
The report highlights the growing trend for working remotely. The ability to work seamlessly from multiple locations is considered of prime importance to 21%. And 87% of respondents say they regularly work remotely – 37% have worked from hotels, 29% from airport lounges, 27% in cafés and 24% on public transport.
Richard Reggel, head of cloud services at WeWorkEverywhere, said: "For SMEs, both cloud technology and enabling remote working are key focus areas as we move into 2014. Clearly however, security remains a top concern for SMEs – both in managing their own systems and in using cloud-based technology."