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US businesses more inclined to use cloud than UK firms, study says

Cloud services continue to gain traction in the private sector, especially as decision-makers look for innovative ways to gain a competitive advantage over rival firms. A recent study by Redwood Software showed that many American businesses will likely have a leg up on their U.K. counterparts.

In a study of 200 U.S. and 100 U.K. organizations, Redwood Software found that about 58 percent of American companies are using cloud storage and other infrastructure services, compared to only 35 percent of British respondents. This is largely because about half of firms in the United States are using the cloud to improve capacity management. Because only 24 percent of U.K. businesses are doing so, this suggests they are more likely to experience problems with volume control.

"American organizations seem to be worlds ahead in their knowledge, usage and confidence in the cloud," said Tijl Vuyk, CEO at Redwood Software. "What will be interesting to see is whether this is a sign of things to come for U.K. businesses and whether the perceived barriers to cloud adoption can be overcome."

Automation in the cloud
Redwood Software highlighted the fact that many companies are using cloud computing to streamline operations through automation. In fact, about 30 percent of U.S. firms are using automated cloud technology to improve business processes, as opposed to only 14 percent of their U.K. cousins.

Further, only about 14 percent of U.S. organizations said cloud automation wouldn't give them enough control, compared to 27 percent of U.K. respondents, Redwood Software reported. This suggests that American businesses are more willing to experience the benefits associated with the cloud, including improving agility and supporting business needs, which was cited as the top benefit by 71 percent of U.S. decision-makers. Fifty-seven percent of U.S. executives said receiving a faster return on investment was important, while 45 percent said cloud automation's ability to reduce labor expenses was a main reason for adoption.

Interestingly, a separate report by TechNavio noted that the European cloud automation services market is forecast to generate more than $6 billion in revenue by 2014. This suggests that the U.K. and other European countries will likely gain more confidence in the technology in the coming years and be more inclined to adopt the cloud to experience a number of crucial advantages.

As the cloud matures, the technology will likely become the norm for computing and organizations around the world will need to implement the tools to remain competitive.

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