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Business news round-up: hybrid cloud adoption grows, cloud security "more important than ever" & snap election delays relief for SMEs

4th May, 2017

Hybrid cloud adoption has grown three-fold in the last year

The number of organisations adopting hybrid cloud platforms to manage their businesses has increased from 19% to 57% in the last year.

The rapid growth of hybrid cloud is a leading indicator of greater cloud platform maturity in enterprises, according to Louis Columbus, Director of Global Cloud Product Management at Ingram Cloud.

These and many other insights are from a recently published report from Intel Security, in which it surveyed over 2,000 professionals about their business systems in the cloud.

The study, aptly named ‘Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky: The State of Cloud Adoption and Security,’ also forecasted that within the next 15 months, 80% of all IT budgets will be committed to cloud solutions.

View the survey findings in full on the Forbes website.

Security in the Cloud is more important than ever, according to top Microsoft & Amazon executives

Executives at Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services have said that a focus on security is more important than ever, as an increasing number of customers move to adopt public cloud platforms.

"Security is paramount. You can't make a sale without making sure the network is set up securely," says Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President, Azure Networking, Microsoft. "Without that, frankly, no one uses the cloud."

Check Point Software Technologies Founder Gil Shwed says that customers often don’t think about securing the cloud in the same way they would an on-premises network. He said customers and partners need to make sure they are putting security protections in place as the shift to the cloud accelerates.

Read the article in full on the CRN website.

UK’s snap general election delays £300m relief package for small businesses

Thousands of UK small businesses hit hardest by the recent changes to business rates will be forced to wait for the results of the snap general election before they can benefit from the £300m relief package promised in the most recent budget.

Earlier this year the government came under pressure to take action on business rates after a revaluation of property in Britain hit the owners of shops, restaurants and pubs in parts of the country where property prices had surged.

Despite the fact that the Department for Communities and Local Government has already completed a consultation on how best to implement the scheme, a spokesman confirmed it would now fall to the next government to publish their response, resulting in a potential hiatus of several months.

Read the article in full on the Guardian website for more detail.

UK SMEs hit with big fines for unlicensed software damages

Damages and legalisation costs for companies caught with unlicensed software are increasing year-on-year.

Unlicensed software use cost UK SMEs over £900,000 in legalisation costs and damages for copyright infringement in 2016, according to new figures from BSA: The Software Alliance. The figure includes settlements and the cost of acquiring new software to become compliant.

The total cost to SMEs has risen from £770,192 in 2015, to £914,587 in 2016. However, the current rate of unlicensed software in the UK is 22 per cent – a two-per cent drop since 2014 – indicating that despite the fall in the rate of unlicensed software overall, SMEs are continuing to flout the law.

Sector-wise, sales and distribution businesses were the worst offenders over the last three years, followed closely by engineering, architectural and design, and manufacturing companies.

Find out more about the importance of following software copyright guidelines on SmallBusiness.co.uk.

What would the French Presidential election result mean for UK businesses?

Emmanuel Macron has been named as the overwhelming favourite to be the next French President.

A Macron win will be cheered by businesses in the country, who see him as untested and inexperienced but pragmatic and pro-business. His likely win has already seen the French stock market and the euro surge.

Some believe that his business-friendly policies - such as cutting corporation tax from 33% to 25% and making it easier to fire (and therefore hire) workers - make France look more attractive to businesses scouring Europe for a potential EU base.

Most bankers, for example, rarely considered France as an option for any potential European expansions – but a Macron presidency could see that change.

Visit the BBC website to find out more about the French election.