Cloud based services (CBS) have moved from the distant horizon and are looming in much closer today. Although the concept of cloud computing has been around since the 1960s, the shift towards large scale adoption of CBS has seen traction only after 2000. Put simply, CBS allows business functions to be performed, by accessing data, software or infrastructure over a ‘cloud’ (or the Internet) instead of an in-premise based infrastructure. Cloud based service providers usually charge on a pay-per-use or pay-as-you-go model.
Today, technology is a key enabler for success. Ideas, by themselves, cannot bear fruit if they aren’t successfully implemented; and an enterprise can quickly lose out on business, if it lags behind in managing its information systems. For an organization that needs information to be available 24×7, a CBS would be the ideal platform.
With the ever-increasing number of devices like desktops, laptops, smart phones, tablets, etc. becoming the access points for information, what better way than to create a central point for change management across the entire IT and business ecosystem?
You don’t want to be left out!
According to Parallels® SMB (Small and Medium Businesses) Cloud Insights for Global Markets 2016™, the market for Cloud services is expected to grow to $125 billion by 2016, with 67% comprising of business applications and Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
Adopting CBS seems to be the default way forward
The biggest impact by switching to CBS comes from the savings of upfront capital investments. CBS offers cost and efficiency benefits to businesses, both large and small. The initial concerns of security, privacy, performance and availability have now been assuaged. The key areas spanning any CBS include the end users, service providers and infrastructure providers. By moving to CBS, businesses are mitigating their risk associated with hardware obsolescence and environmental control hassles.
SMEs account for about 80% of a country’s economic activity. The economic downturn of the past decade created a tough climate for the SMEs. But, with their constant attempts to reinvent themselves and compete with the big bullies in the industry, they succeed in springing up with surprises every now and then. CBS can help them to focus on their core competencies rather than on mundane but still important business functions like accounting, office productivity tools, collaboration amongst their team, HRMS, Payroll, etc. They can streamline processes and globalize their reach at a much lower cost. CBS allows businesses allocate resources on a requirement basis (rather than a fixed sunken cost), as per the anticipate spikes and troughs.
Overcome traditional hurdles to deploy services and reach markets
Cloud based services help SMEs devote more manpower, time and money to run competitively against large enterprises, by diverting capital IT spending towards areas like marketing and innovation. They allow SMEs to achieve their goals on a much larger scale and at a much lower cost. Increasing brand awareness and market visibility, areas which were the playgrounds of big businesses (read: Fortune 2000), was one of the biggest hurdles for smaller companies. Now cloud computing has come as a great equalizer. The spread of social media in marketing and sales activity has been one of the greatest showcases for using CBS.
Take your Pick of Vendors; they are just a click away!
Today, the Cloud based services market is already a busy place with many sellers and a growing number of buyers. Giving SMEs the ability to pick and choose a provider based on their needs and budget. The key areas where smaller businesses can gain competitive advantage or even narrow the gap with large enterprises are Business Applications, Collaboration, Communications, Cloud Data Analytics, Social Media etc.
Technology is no longer a differentiator
As we speak, technology is continuously changing; mostly for the better. Technology is no longer a differentiator between the have and the have-nots. Rather, it has become a great leveler, giving SMEs the ability to thrive; to challenge; to be among the best.