Adding to the impetus for rapid broadband rollout in rural Ireland, new research indicates that cloud technology usage has doubled among regional businesses and more staff are working at home on a regular basis.
The second annual Regional Business Barometer Study, commissioned by telecoms and cloud services provider Magnet, revealed that more than 58pc of 540 businesses surveyed have introduced a cloud system for their staff and clients, up from 23pc in 2015.
Some 59pc of IT decision-makers surveyed said that some of their staff work from home on a regular basis, while half said some of their staff work while on the road. Last year, these figures were 29pc and 36pc respectively.
Micro-businesses of one-to-nine employees are very supportive of home working, with two-thirds of staff, on average, working from home on a regular basis. For large companies of more than 250 employees, the figure is only 15pc.
The new work culture
‘Work culture is changing, with today’s workforce more dispersed than ever before’
– MARK KELLET, MAGNET
Small companies also provide the most staff with smartphones (48pc), tablets (28pc) and laptops (42pc).
The study, conducted by Amárach Research, also showed that the primary benefits of cloud services are reduced costs (58pc), mobility (55pc), allowing staff to work from home (46pc) and greater productivity (37pc).
When it comes to cloud adoption, security concerns have risen significantly since last year, with one in five citing them as a deterrent to cloud adoption, compared to 4pc the previous year.
“Work culture is changing, with today’s workforce more dispersed than ever before,” explained Magnet CEO Mark Kellett.
“This is borne out by our survey with the number of remote and mobile workers increasing significantly since last year, and similar increases for cloud adoption.
“Ubiquitous connectivity and mobility is the new norm, and this is where cloud really comes into play.
“Many services that were once only accessible from the company office can now be accessed from anywhere in the world, allowing for greater productivity, collaboration and communication.”
Mobile worker image via Shutterstock