UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are missing out on £6.9 billion by failing to digitise and move to the cloud, according to a new report from Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The study urged also suggested that embracing cloud computing would create an extra two million jobs and turbocharge the UK’s health and education sectors. The study, called “Realising a Cloud-enabled Economy: How Micro, Small, and Medium Sized Businesses Drive Economic Growth and Societal Impact” report was commissioned by Amazon Web Services (AWS), and examines the potential benefits of moving to the cloud for MSMEs (defined as businesses with less than 250 employees) and the societal issues that could be addressed through such a shift.
Josh Boer, director at AWS consultancy VeUP said: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, yet far too many are operating outdated business models and failing to exploit the benefits of digital transformation. From getting access to generative AI tools to reducing costs and scaling up rapidly, cloud environments are the secret sauce and it’s absurd that so many ambitious startups are missing out.”
According to the OECD, the UK is one of the largest cloud technology regions in Europe, with an estimated 53 per cent of all businesses purchasing cloud services. The country has seen a notable acceleration of cloud adoption, with rates doubling since 2014, however, adoption of more advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) remains low at approximately 13 per cent.
Among the cloud-enabled technologies available, AI has shown the most potential to transform industries. 75 per cent of the MSMEs surveyed in the new report identified AI (including generative AI) and ML, as the technologies likely to drive the most societal impact by 2030.