As businesses look for cost-effective ways to increase efficiency, improve productivity and enhance IT capabilities it’s no surprise that cloud adoption among SMBs has been accelerating.
Still, there are SMBs that don’t trust the cloud and are unnecessarily missing out on opportunities to drive business growth.
Two recent studies by Microsoft show that 50% of SMBs say cloud-based services are becoming more important to their business, 70% say cost savings allow them to invest money and time into product development and innovation, 75% say they’ve experienced improved service availability and a staggering 94% say they have gained security benefits they didn’t have with their installed products.
As James Morehead, Vice President, Product Management and Corporate Marketing of Support.com, points out many small businesses may be unaware that they are already using many cloud-based services in the form of online data storage and backup, online file sharing, web hosting, collaboration/communication services and more, in combination with broadband and other provider services.
Morehead has identified nine reasons that SMBs should consider deploying more cloud-based services:
- Cost Effectiveness – implementing enterprise class IT software and services can be cost prohibitive. Cloud-based solutions are more affordable, require little to no upfront fees and offer “pay-as-you-go” billing.
- Scalability – add or delete seats/licenses as necessary to accommodate business changes.
- Deployment – cloud-based solutions are often ready-to-implement, require little planning and no hardware investment.
- Security – infrastructure of a large cloud-based software or services company improves security through large-scale robust security policy and infrastructure.
- Maintenance – handled by the provider, updates are automatically pushed.
- Mobility & Device Management and BYOD – software and services can be accessed via mobile anywhere, anytime increasing productivity, huge as more employees use smart devices/tablets, etc.
- Accounting – instead of committing to long-term licenses for software, etc., use an online marketplace to find software/license agreements on an as-needed basis, which can lower costs.
- Uptime – less of an issue than in the past, SMBs can monitor the average uptime of the service/software they select.
- Dedicated Tech Support – many SMBs lack a full-time tech support, and should consider using a 24/7 tech services support firm, which can cost-effectively resolve technology.
Cloud-based services enable SMBs to cost-effectively benefit from capabilities large enterprises have enjoyed for years. Market research predicts that the cloud adoption rate will increase in the coming years and is perhaps one of the most important strategic decisions that SMBs can make.