WeWorkEverywhere reveals top priorities for SMEs

New research released today by hosted desktop service provider WeWorkEverywhere, provides an illuminating snapshot of attitudes on cloud technology and what SME businesses need from their IT systems in order to be productive, efficient and competitive.

Security tops the list of SME concerns

·         67% of those surveyed stated that security and data protection was their top concern when it comes to IT related issues. Security ranked much higher than concerns around upgrades and on-going maintenance costs (32%)

·         40% of those surveyed were concerned about limited budgets

·         34% of respondents were concerned about the ability to access files and documents if working remotely

> See also: WatchGuard's top 8 security predictions for 2014

Lack of system flexibility irritates users and hinders business productivity

·         Less than a quarter (24%) of survey respondents were satisfied with their current IT systems

·         22% are suffering from a lack of productivity when working remotely, unable to access documents and applications from local servers

·         25% claimed they were having to cope with out-dated technology

·         26% felt that different interfaces with different devices was particularly irritating


SMEs want robust IT systems

·         36% of respondents rated reliability and confidence in performance most important when it comes to their IT systems

·         The ability to work seamlessly from multiple locations was also considered of top importance (21%)

SMEs are flocking to the cloud but security remains a top concern

·         Well over half (59%) of SMEs are already using some kind of cloud based system

·         The majority of SMEs are using cloud for email (33%) and data storage/back-up (33%). Other cloud systems being used were accounting and billing (15%), HR (14%) and CRM systems (14%)

·         Even though cloud has moved into the mainstream, over 60% of those surveyed still felt that security was a major concern

·         42% were also concerned about someone else controlling their data

·         28% highlighted hidden costs as a key concern, indicating that many SMEs are wary of rising costs of cloud


SMEs are working remotely – and in some unusual places

·         37% are working remotely from hotels, 29% from airport lounges or airplanes, 27% are working in cafés or coffee shops and 24% on public transport

·         9% admitted to working in the bathroom, 6% at the cinema or theatre, and 6% said they worked at the gym

·         Other more unusual places cited were the beach, the pub, the football stadium and at sea using a satellite-based system to connect to the office

·         Just 13% of respondents said that they had never worked remotely


'Demand is growing for reliable, scalable and flexible IT systems that can support the rapidly changing needs of today’s SME businesses,' commented Richard Reggel, head of cloud services at WeWorkEverywhere.

'For SMEs both cloud technology and enabling remote working are key focus areas as we move into 2014. In an always-on, mobile world the need to work from anywhere, using any device, is critical. Clearly however, security remains a top concern for SMEs – both in managing their own systems and in using cloud-based technology. And, with on-going concerns over limited budgets, managing cost and predictable pricing will also be key priorities for SMEs across all key technology areas.'

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...