Research recently commissioned by The British Chambers of Commerce and BT Business revealed that 60 percent of UK small- and medium-sized enterprises are already using cloud-based applications. What is driving the use of cloud technology in the enterprise?

Remote working: According to the research 47 percent of businesses have one or more members of staff working away from the office at least once a week, while 28 percent have at least one member of staff working remotely every day.

Flexible working: 86 percent of the businesses surveyed have one or more employees working from home on a regular basis, and 43 percent interviewed believed that cloud-based applications are a critical enabler of flexible working. Importantly, over half (52 percent) said that remote access to company data – which cloud technology facilitates – is essential.

Recent research from RingCentral also revealed the same trends, with 93 percent of people saying they work from home for part of the week and 76 percent work while travelling. Plus, the survey found that 68 percent of companies are seeing the importance of managing a geographically dispersed workforce.

where we work

Cloud technology makes flexible and remote working possible, but that’s not the only reason to consider moving to the cloud. Here’s four additional ways in which cloud technology can help drive your business. It:

• Improves employee productivity levels. Cloud-based communications ensure that people can talk to other people, and access and share files, from anywhere and from any device. It enables employees to be ‘always on’ so they can remain productive on the move, or at home.
• Helps you to deliver a great customer service. Client expectations and competition has fuelled the rise in needing to adopt more customer-centric working practices. Cloud-based communications help you to provide optimal customer service, thanks to its ‘always-on’ technology. And this helps you to achieve customer loyalty and business growth.
• Better controls costs. Cloud communications work on a pay-as-you-go model, so you only pay for the service you use. This empowers you to shift from a CapEx to an OpEx model, as there’ no upfront costs and you know what your bill is going to be at the end of the month.
• Helps you to effectively resource plan. It’s hard to know where your business is going to be next year, and cloud technology plays to this business scenario, as the technology scales with you, and you’re only paying for what you use. Plus, cloud communications systems can integrate with your CRM system, which means you have greater visibility of your customer support and sales team’s daily activity, so you can better plan your human resource.

Cloud technology is critical for business growth, delivering a great customer service, and serving your employees. To find out how cloud technology can help your business read: Is a cloud based phone system right for my business?