There are many businesses across the globe looking to third-party service providers to leverage the many benefits of the cloud. However, some countries lack the Internet infrastructure needed to facilitate this technology. Real Business contributor Peter Groucutt recently urged the United Kingdom government to improve high-speed internet access across the country so that businesses could use the cloud.

Being in the cloud has plenty of businesses advantages, especially for smaller companies that are looking to compete with larger enterprises, as the features offered allow them to scale up or down when needed without much capital expenditure.

However, high-speed Internet access is not available to all businesses within the U.K., which means that some cannot leverage the cloud for their benefit. That leaves the U.K. behind the curve compared with other countries. Groucutt stated that enterprises of all sizes should have access to high-speed connections so they can compete with those around the world.

"Like water or electricity, cloud computing should now be considered a key utility and therefore should be available to all. It allows businesses to succeed as it enables them to exactly align technology expenditure with business requirements," he wrote.

Businesses using cloud for analytics use
Another benefit to the cloud is the increased capacity to leverage big data and other advanced analytics solutions. Some companies are beginning to leverage the cloud for these probabilities and are finding exceptional return on investment, Forbes contributor Joe McKendrick stated.

Recent IBM research found that the top 20 percent of cloud adopters are achieving a competitive advantage by using the cloud for analytics purposes. Those companies are 170 percent more likely than others to leverage the cloud for big data analytics capabilities for better business decisions. The cloud can facilitate these efforts by making the information available to all levels of an enterprise.

"The secret to successfully competing on analytics is making insights accessible to all decision-makers across the organization – not just the quants and C-level executives," wrote McKendrick. "Cloud increases the accessibility of data. Two-thirds of the cloud leaders say cloud plays a pivotal role in helping them make data-driven decisions."

The top companies are also looking at future cloud possibilities as well. Some ways they are looking to leverage the cloud down the road are: assembling new components of business services, better management of big data stores and applications and features designed specifically for their industry.