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Accountancy firms 'slow adopters of cloud technology'

11/07/13

Cloud computing has been one of the major technology trends of the last few years, with analysts pointing to its potential for improving business technology and allowing smaller firms to compete with their larger rivals.

However, the UK accountancy industry has been one of the slower adopters of the new trend, despite being aware of the many of the benefits it could potentially offer.

According to the findings of the IT in Practice Survey from Thomson Reuters, firms are planning to use cloud services in the future to support remote working and the use of mobile devices, even if this is not yet viable.

The survey, which polled 1,300 UK accountancy firms, found that only 11 per cent are currently using cloud services as part of their practice. However, more promising news was contained within the statistic that 23 per cent of companies are planning to move some or all of their IT infrastructure online in the next 12 months.

Thomson Reuters managing director Andrew Flanagan said: "The main reason practices are looking to move to cloud-based solutions is to allow employees to work remotely; for example, from client's premises and to enable use of new mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets."

Pockets of resistance are still springing up to the concept of cloud computing, with not everyone in the industry convinced of its efficacy or security.

A quarter of respondents said they saw no advantage in moving to the cloud from their existing hosting solutions, while 22 per cent admitted that it remains difficult to quantify the benefits of the cloud despite its good reputation.

Other concerns raised by accountants included worries over broadband services, uncertainty about system reliability and data security issues that could arise.

Christophe Letellier, chief executive officer of Sage, recently suggested in an Accountancy Age article that choosing the right IT system is crucial for accountancy firms in the UK aiming for success.

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