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Fewer than 20 percent of manufacturers have bought cloud computing software, according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures.

Fewer than 20 percent of manufacturers have bought cloud computing software over the internet, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.

For those that did invest in cloud in 2013, most were likely to use it to store files (11 percent), the ONS revealed. 

The figures are part of a government-run study into annual e-commerce and ICT activity released on Friday.

They showed that only 2.2 percent of manufacturers bought IaaS (computing capacity to run the firm’s own applications). Cloud-based CRM systems also had a low uptake of just 3.3 percent.

Almost half of all manufacturing firms said “insufficient knowledge or expertise” was the main reason they are not using cloud products or services.

The most cloud-savvy firms were information and communication and utilities firms - 65 percent and 30 percent of which are using cloud software, respectively.

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Enterprises (defined as businesses with over 1000 employees) stated that “risk of security breach or disclosure” was the main reason for not buying cloud products. For those that did, email, file storage and database hosting were the most popular products and services.

Internet speeds in UK business

The figures also revealed that 55 percent of enterprises have maximum internet speeds below 100Mbps.

Almost ten percent of organisations still use connections that reach speeds of less than 10Mbps. 

Despite a reluctancy to invest in cloud, the figures follow a report from the Manufacturing Advisory Service which found that 69 percent of small and medium manufacturers plan to invest in new technology as well as machinery and premises to boost productivity over the next six months.

Image: Flickr ©Daniel Foster