A government review is urging small companies to adopt technology, including cloud computing, to improve productivity.
The Business Productivity Review was launched in May 2018 to specifically address why UK businesses have less productivity than others in the developed world. It is expected to publish the report sometime in December.
Productivity measured as output per hour was 16.3% below the average for G7 economies in 2016. The report is expected to reveal that productivity has decreased further since then. If British business were as productive as those in Germany, it is estimated that this would contribute £100bn to the economy.
In 2017, Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist, linked low productivity to companies that have not adopted the technology. Some small firms mistakenly believe they must focus on maintaining a profit rather than purchasing expensive new technology.
The government review is expected to urge small businesses to use cloud-based products for accountancy, supply chain management, file storage and communications.
It is believed the government will provide a £56m fund to train small business owners in leadership skills, including using technology.
How Microsoft tools help productivity
Small businesses that follow the advice of the government to move to the cloud can start by using Microsoft services.
One factor that can affect business productivity is secure storage of files. Small businesses often cannot afford, or do not know how to establish security that prevents unauthorised access to sensitive files. If information gets into the hands of a competitor, it can adversely affect business. To address this, Microsoft 365 scans sensitive data and transmitted files to reduce the chances of them falling into the wrong hands.
Many small businesses have workers who regularly work offsite, which makes collaboration and meetings difficult to arrange. Poor communication can affect productivity, but the likes of SharePoint, Skype for Business, instant messaging and Outlook all make communication easier.
Similarly, customer services and relationships can be improved with Microsoft CRM services.
What about cost?
Many business owners believe moving to cloud computing is expensive, but they may be surprised at how cost-effective cloud computing is. For a start, moving over to the cloud means the business does not need to own its own on-premises server to store files.
It is not necessary to spend hundreds of pounds on new software, as accounting software and Microsoft 365 are available on a monthly subscription. If the business needs to design a leaflet, brochure or takes photographs that need editing, Adobe creative software is also available on a monthly subscription.
Some argue that the yearly cost of subscriptions to cloud services can work out pricier than purchasing software, but it should be considered that there is no need to purchase a new version when they come out, as cloud software is automatically updated.
Here at WM Reply , we agree with the government that business productivity can be improved with cloud computing. Get in touch to discover how we can help your business easily migrate its computing to the cloud.