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How small business can finance better use of cloud services

Cloud services are revolutionising how businesses operate but smaller firms are proving slow on the uptake and aren’t benefiting fully from this computing technology. A major reason is cost. Alternative finance can help these companies afford the investment.

According to a new study from Close Brothers, almost 60% of SMEs in the UK do not use cloud-based computing. Tellingly, the research identified cost as a major barrier to use of cloud services. Almost 30% of decision makers said that the switch would take up too much time, while 16% commented that the technology is too expensive. Also, 36% attributed their reticence to not trusting the security of cloud services.

Furthermore, the research revealed a significant knowledge gap with regard to cloud services, with almost three quarters of senior decision makers at SMEs admitting that they do not have a good working knowledge of the technology.

These factors mean that a large number of small businesses are missing out a raft of benefits. Cloud computing technology offers the convenience of remote access to key data, the advantage of increased storage space and can reduce costs. Notably, businesses can access a range of tools through this technology, including those relating to customer relationship management and accounting and payroll, and can benefit from system and storage scalability and flexibility.

Given the state of current market conditions, the underwhelming performance of the economy and the raft of other costs, both policy and non-policy, that must be managed, it comes as little surprise to see small businesses holding back investment in cloud services. However, at the same time, it is clear that reticence is also potentially damaging in terms of development and performance.

So, how can small businesses raise the money to make more use of cloud services and benefit from this technology?

Alternative finance can help.

The likes of invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding are redrawing the small business funding landscape, providing firms with access to capital for essential investment, such as in cloud computing technology and related staff training.

This is how a small business in Sussex used peer-to-peer lending, through a commercial finance broker that specialises in alternative finance, to raise the capital to invest in new equipment and resources.

Digitalisation of the workplace is causing a fundamental change in how businesses are operating and cloud computing technology is playing a key role in this revolution. SMEs can’t afford to be outside the loop. To afford this critical investment, business owners need to be aware of all the funding options available to them, including alternative finance.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact Tony Hedger on 01903 602211 or tony.hedger@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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