The UK is planning to attract more foreign companies, including those from Taiwan, to invest in its fast-growing cloud computing market, visiting British industry representatives said in Taipei yesterday.
Ian Osborne, the director of business-to-business at Intellect, an industry association representing about 850 UK technology companies, said Taiwanese firms could enter the UK cloud computing sector through the “G-Cloud” public procurement platform.
Launched in 2010, the G-Cloud program is a cross-UK government initiative that focuses on introducing cloud information and communication technology (ICT) services into government departments, local authorities and the wider public sector, he said.
“We are looking for new ideas, new companies and people who can help the UK government become more efficient,” Osborne told a media briefing organized by the British Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei.
In 2011, the UK government spent ￡1.69 billion (US$2.67 billion) in the ICT category of its public expenditure, 50 percent of which was made through its G-Cloud procurement program, Osborne said.
The value of the UK cloud computing market is forecast to more than double from ￡2.4 billion in 2010 to ￡6.1 billion next year, according to TechMarketView, the UK’s premier software and IT services research firm.
Chris Moore, a technology specialist at UK Trade and Investment, a government organization that helps promote UK-based businesses internationally, said at the media briefing that there were three strong drivers for Taiwanese firms to invest in cloud businesses in the UK: a complete infrastructure, the fast adoption of cloud-based technologies and the high quality of research and development in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In addition, the British government plans to reduce its corporate tax rate from 24 percent to 21 percent next year, with the aim of building a friendlier business environment for SMEs from other countries, Moore said.
Meanwhile, cloud computing technologies are also catching on in the UK private sector. A survey by IT trade association CompTIA showed that 18 percent of UK SMEs are now using cloud solutions and a further 30 percent plan to introduce them over the next year.
Furthermore, 81 percent of UK SMEs are expected to increase their cloud usage over the next two years, indicating significant opportunities for providers of cloud solutions, the survey found.