Cybersecurity and cloud top SME technology plans for 2018

Although the proportion of small businesses planning to invest in new technology is lower than for larger businesses, almost half of small businesses will invest in cybersecurity and cloud computing this year.

British businesses are prioritising investment in cybersecurity, cloud computing and connectivity in 2018 as they seek to build stronger and more resilient businesses, according to new research from Beaming, the business Internet Service Provider.

Beaming’s study, which was conducted by researchers at Opinium, reveals that almost half of companies in the UK plan to improve their cybersecurity defences and extend their use of cloud computing in 2018. More than a third plan to adopt new connectivity services.

Half of British businesses plan to enhance cybersecurity this year

Improving cybersecurity is the biggest area of focus for IT investment in 2018, with almost half (49 per cent) of businesses surveyed planning to spend more in this area during 2018.

A quarter (23 per cent) of businesses plan to upgrade their antivirus and anti-malware software, 15 per cent will add new network perimeter firewalls and a further 14 per cent will improve network access control by introducing measures such as two-factor authentication.

Medium and large companies will invest in cybersecurity at the greatest rate. Seven in every ten companies with more than 50 people will improve their resilience to cyber attacks this year.

Security conscious businesses likely to go private when adopting cloud services

46 per cent of British businesses plan to invest in cloud computing services this year. Adoption rates set to be highest amongst medium and large companies, which plan to split their data and workloads across different forms of the cloud as appropriate.

Private or enterprise clouds, which rely entirely on a company’s own IT infrastructure, were the most popular form of cloud service, with a quarter (23 per cent) of all businesses surveyed planning to take this option.

Public cloud services were also a popular option, with a fifth (21 per cent) of companies planning to invest further in services from the likes of Google, Microsoft or Amazon. Large companies intend adopting public cloud services at the highest rate (33 per cent)

One in ten (10 per cent) firms said they intended to invest in colocation, with data stored on their own equipment located in a third party data centre.

Superfast broadband and fibre ethernet leased lines top connectivity plans

More than a third (39 per cent) of businesses surveyed said they would invest in connectivity during 2018. Almost a fifth (17 per cent) plan to meet their growing demand for bandwidth by connecting directly to the internet using fibre ethernet leased lines.

More than a quarter of medium (27 per cent) and large (31 per cent) companies plan to invest in fibre ethernet technology, allowing potentially hundreds of users to share a single connection with no loss of speed or quality.

Superfast fibre broadband, which connects businesses to the national fibre network using copper telephone lines, is the preferred connectivity investment of smaller organisations. One in five (18 per cent) organisations employing 10 to 49 people and one in ten (11 per cent) firms with nine or fewer employees plan to invest in this kind of connectivity during 2018.

Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, comments, ‘The growing number of cyber attacks and high profile data breaches have not deterred companies from doing more and more business online, but they have become more cautious. Businesses today rely on the internet, they want to maximise the cost, convenience and productivity gains it enables, and have recognised that they need rock solid systems and connectivity to do so with confidence.’

Further reading on SME technology plans

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