The UK cloud computing market is predicted to reach £6.1 billion by 2014 (source: TechMarketView) and offers big investment opportunities for companies in the ICT sector.
18% of UK small medium enterprises (SMEs) use cloud and a further 30% plan to use them in the next 12 months. 81% of established cloud users in the UK plan to increase cloud usage over the next 2 years.
Almost all software companies in the UK are using cloud. Opportunities exist in both the public and private sector for companies offering cloud or linked services.
Public sector opportunities
The UK government’s ICT strategy includes a strong focus on cloud technologies.
The G-Cloud Programme is changing how the public sector buys and uses Information Technology (ICT). This means more opportunities for companies to access government contracts. It’s designed to support the purchase of cloud based services.
By 2015 half of all new ICT spending by the UK government will be on public cloud services through the G-Cloud programme. This provides new opportunities for overseas companies looking to enter the market.
Private sector opportunities
The main reasons for businesses using cloud services in the UK are:
- flexibility in meeting business demands
- quicker disaster recovery
- automation of software updates
- increased collaboration between employees
- reduction of costs
- low cost of using cloud services
Small and medium sized UK companies are adopting cloud into their businesses which often gives them an advantage against competitors.
Opportunities exist across all the different models of cloud solutions, particularly the Software as a Service (SaaS) market, where applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers. Other areas include:
- storage and sharing services
- unified communications (telephone, online chat)
- video-conferencing solutions
Many businesses are using software tools such as Salesforce automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and these continue to grow in the UK market. Other related software in demand includes:
- marketing automation tools
- social media management
- email marketing
- web analytics