Midsized businesses (MSBs) are missing out on the productivity benefits of IT activities, but can recover some of the ground through making more use of cloud solutions, according to a report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
Commissioned by cloud platform provider Cordys, the report is focused on businesses with between 50 and 249 employees in the UK, France and the Netherlands.
It says they have a structurally lower take-up of a range of IT activities compared with larger companies. For example, just 66% of MSBs have adopted intra-company data sharing solutions compared with 84% of large businesses.
Similarly, only 28% of MSBs are selling online compared with 42% of large firms, 29% are using customer relationship management systems compared with 44%, and 24% are using enterprise resource planning compared with 48%.
The report says UK MSBs have been particularly slow to adopt IT solutions, and their productivity has been the worst, falling by 4.8% between 2007-11.
Hans Visser, Chief Strategy Officer at Cordys, says in the report: "MSBs want to adopt enterprise applications like their larger counterparts, but find it tough to get the same benefits. It's vital that MSBs have the tools to close the gap so they can reap the benefits of enterprise applications, by advantageously using the cloud so they can be up and running quickly and at a lower cost to stay competitive."
The report says they can recover some of the ground through cloud solutions. These can reduce their cost base by taking out a chunk of capital expenditure, and increase opportunities for business development by making them more responsive to surges in demand and helping to take products and services to market more quickly.
According to CEBR, the adoption of cloud computing and lowering barriers to entry will help to create 35,000 new MSBs in the UK by 2015.
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