Cloud computing and SMEs have become two inextricably intertwined topics. Undoubtedly, over recent years, small-medium businesses have been granted access to services that were originally designed for large enterprises. We all know the fast-changing and dynamic marketplace requires businesses to constantly change and adapt; it’s time for SMEs to be fully aware of the benefits cloud computing can bring to their company.
The future of cloud computing
There are hundreds of articles about cloud computing and its implications; yet, awareness among SMEs is still a major inhibitor. Perhaps, some still think cloud deployment is not their cup of tea and consider it a solution strictly confined within the larger enterprise sector. However, predictions about cloud computing for the next 5 years show a positive outlook: business is expected to be more cloud-savvy and more informed; more than one quarter of all applications will be available online; conversely, the traditional infrastructure will slowly lose ground. The importance of the cloud will grow significantly also in financial management: half of UK SMEs are forecasted to adopt an accounting software on the cloud within one year.
Moving to the cloud: five benefits for SMEs
So, according to these predictions, moving to the cloud will go mainstream… but let’s pick up five of the major advantages this will bring to SMEs:
- Flexibility: One of the main advantages of cloud computing consist in its scalability and elasticity that allow the cloud to grow with the business. In fact, the cloud can easily adapt to the changing needs and size of the company and the number of users can be adjusted accordingly, removing any potential IT costs. What’s more, people can work anywhere and anytime.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Despite what some think, cloud deployment is less expensive than physical infrastructure, which will need maintenance on a regular basis and IT-skilled personnel intervention. Cloud services are normally pay as you go, so businesses will pay a predictable fee for what they need and use. No surprises, no bottlenecks.
- Collaboration and Engagement: Adopting a cloud option will allow employees to simultaneously access to and work on documents, increasing collaboration and, therefore, business efficiency.
- Automatic Updates: cloud computing will reduce stress for management; no more maintenance, no more IT skills gaps. Your cloud partner will automatically deal with maintenance and updates, saving time and costs.
- Security and Reliability: last but not least,business-critical data can be easily recovered and disaster recovery will be rapid and easy.
It’s clear that, if used wisely, cloud computing can make a positive difference and allow businesses to reinvest their time and financial resources, improving and accelerating ROI. A crucial step is to first analysing your business needs against your overall strategy and determine what solution is the most suitable.