Small and medium sized businesses based in the UK are increasingly likely to use some form of cloud computing, according to a study carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce.
CBR Online reports that 69 per cent of SMBs currently harness some form of cloud computing service, with the intention often being to facilitate remote working and ease the pressure put on a firm’s office space.
This represents a 15 per cent annual increase in cloud usage and indicates that this technology is allowing businesses of all sizes to be more flexible in how they deploy their resources.
Ninety one per cent of the SMBs that were questioned in the study said that they allowed staff to work from home, with almost a fifth reporting that the majority of their employees were not based on-site at any one time.
The cloud allows people to work remotely while still being able to use core apps and data that is available at the office. And mobility is a key advantage, which many organisations are leveraging to improve productivity, with the use of smartphones being seen as having the most transformative effect on the way businesses operated over the past year.
Almost two thirds of respondents said that the quality of customer service had improved, thanks to the new communications tools that were available to them.
Report spokesperson, Danny Longbottom, said that the cloud was making home working a reality for many SMBs, while the rise of smartphone technology was ensuring that people could be productive, even when they were not at their desks.
The cloud is helping to eliminate any inefficiencies that businesses were previously forced to endure. And even the smallest organisations in the UK are beginning to adapt to this idea and adopt cloud services.
Computing technology available to cloud providers today is still limited by a variety of factors, as well as being susceptible to security risks that remain relatively persistent, in spite of advances being made.
However, restrictions on processing power, storage and connectivity could be overcome as a result of investigations into the world of quantum theory, and how this might be applied in a cloud environment. And Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, has announced a new partnership which will see it setting up a centre dedicated to looking into this area more thoroughly.
This news comes in the same week that Alibaba has confirmed it will be looking to compete with American rival, Amazon, by spending $1 billion (£641 million) on expanding its cloud arm, according to the Financial Times.
Quantum computing could, ultimately, be used to eliminate the limits of Moore’s Law - that computing power doubles roughly once every 24 months. So rather than relying on an incremental approach to improvements, the power increase made possible by quantum theory could be dramatic and game-changing.
Spokesperson, Jian Wang, said that just as big data is being used to transform the cloud market and make major changes to the way various industries operate at the moment, so too, in the future, could quantum computing help to usher in the next stage of the cloud revolution.
Using quantum computing to achieve improved security is just one aspect of the research being undertaken, as the team will also be investigating its applications in the field of artificial intelligence.
The number-crunching power which would theoretically be possible to achieve with quantum computing is the most exciting aspect of this entire venture. However, observers have pointed out that, at the moment, it is still very much in the early stages of development and it is difficult to assess quite when it might be commercially viable, let alone what it might cost to create.