UK businesses are more cloud-savvy than the majority of their European counterparts, according to new data from the European Commission (EC).
Around 22 per cent of UK businesses are now using some form of cloud computing to improve how they operate, compared to an EU-wide average of 13 percent.
The data comes from the latest EU-wide Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) report, that looks at five key digital metrics of all EU nations: connectivity, skills, use of the web by citizens, use of digital tools by businesses and digital public services from governments.
The focus on cloud covers any business that is using at least one cloud service, whether that's software, databases or for computing power and overall the UK rankings sixth for this metric.
Across the entire DESI report the UK placed seventh, one place lower than last year despite its score increasing, as rival nations improved their digital push at faster rate.
Top of the pile was Denmark, followed by Finland and Sweden. The UK finds itself sandwiched between Belgium in sixth and Ireland in eighth.
Some of the main areas that let the UK down were pricing for broadband services, where it ranked 17, and the consumption of online news by citizens, where it ranked a lowly 22.
Nevertheless there are some areas where the UK excels, with the nation top for online shopping, a position it retained from the 2016 report, and it is also top the use of social media among businesses, where it jumped two places.
Two areas where UK businesses are performing very poorly, though, is the use of electronic billing, where UK firms come in at 26 and the use of RFID technologies, at 27. However, there are some trendsetters out there, so this could improve in the years ahead.
Speaking at the unveiling of the latest repot, EC vice president Andrus Ansip said the data showed that many nations have a long way to go to improve their digital standing, but that investments towards this effort would pay dividends.
"Countries need to invest if they are to benefit from the DSM and make the most of the many opportunities that it offers," he said.
"I am not only talking about cash investment. To advance in the digital age also requires political commitment and engagement, especially in areas like digital skills. I believe there is ample scope for countries that are doing less well to catch up."
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