Small and midsized enterprises (SMEs) increasingly understand the value of being “cloud-ready”. An article in IT Business Edge quotes several analyst studies that concur on the fact that this group is already adopting cloud technologies and that this trend is set to continue over the coming years.
But what are some of the reasons behind this growth?
- Cost. SMEs balk at the prospect of paying large sums upfront for software applications and the hardware and infrastructure to run them on. It’s not just capital expenditure either – they often don’t have the IT staff to manage complex systems – and to hire someone would make the cost explode even further. That’s the number one reason why they’re ready for the cloud. And that’s why you can put together a string of very convincing arguments to your SME prospects as to how they can move their business forward without crippling capex and opex.
- Security. Most SMEs are savvy enough to have secured their IT infrastructure to protect it from threats. But SMEs tend to grow fast, and that can mean they’re adding new hardware and applications that require extra protection too. With professional, full-featured cloud solutions, the provider and hoster have already done the heavy lifting in terms of security. The SME will still need to protect its network and its sensitive customer and financial data, but reputable providers sell their cloud solutions with peace of mind as part of the package.
- Mobile access. Smartphones and tablets are a feature of almost everyone’s business day now. SMEs in particular have embraced mobility as a productivity booster – it’s all about agility at an SME. But accessing company data quickly can be a hassle when they’re away from the office. With cloud-based applications that support a wide range of devices, all they need is an internet connection. Whether they’re on the other side of town or the other side of the world, mobile staff always have the information they need. A convincing argument for road warriors.
- Best practices. Smaller firms don’t always have the same access to best practices as larger enterprises, although they need them just as much. Using a cloud application that’s been developed with the input of a whole array of experts enables SMEs to benefit from decades of experience, best practice and also compliance knowledge – and it’s all built in to the software. That can make all the difference to an SME in terms of competitive edge, and help them ensure they remain compliant with changing regulations without hiring an expert.
What does this mean for you as a partner? It means there’s a golden opportunity right at your door. In the next blog post, we’ll be looking at cloud marketing and the returns it can deliver. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, how do you see the SME cloud market in your country or region? Let us know in the comments!