By Tarun Wig, Co-Founder, Innefu Labs
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) might be facing a problem in the inclusion of information technology solutions and platforms in their work- process either due to its complexity or due to the sky-rise cost. But the situation would not be the same with cloud computing easing out the burden and assisting SMEs with the IT services that were earlier out of their reach.
Most of the small businesses remain untouched by the fact that of their work already gets done in the cloud. From checking the bank balance online to posting on Facebook or using OneDrive or Dropbox, that’s all that cloud computing includes. It’s worth noting that many small businesses don’t realize how much of their business is already done in the cloud. If you check your bank balance online, you’re using cloud technology. Posting to Facebook, that’s cloud again. Using Dropbox, OneDrive or Google services, that’s all cloud computing.
In U.S, cloud computing adoption by small businesses which is currently at 37% is predicted to reach almost a doubled up mark of 78% by 2020. The booming Small & Medium Business (SMB) Cloud Service market which was estimated to be about $55B in U.S in 2016 is now assumed to even grow at a more indiscriminate pace in Europe, attaining the 17% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Presently, more than 64% of SMBs alone in Western Europe are working with cloud- based software, using at least three applications on an average. In a strong worldwide evolution of cloud adoption rates, India leads the pack with 32% rise in cloud adoption rate, followed by Brazil on 2nd with 29% and China in 3rd with 22%.
Advantages of cloud computing for Small and Medium Businesses:
Cloud is Cost Effective
The main concern of SMEs is the availability of only a restrictive amount of financial resources. Paying heed to this concern of SMEs, cloud computing offers them with a reduced CAPEX and OPEX both with regards to IT resources, power and energy. As the infrastructure is owned, managed and maintained by the service providers themselves hence, the cost related to purchase and up gradation of hardware is also not an issue at all with cloud computing. In short, get an up to date access to software solution without burdening the business with the too much technological expense.
Cloud means better Data storage
For small businesses using an expensive hardware or data storage center is a quite difficult task due to limited funds and technical hands, but a cloud-based system overcomes all such barriers with much ease. A cloud stores a large amount of data and its capacity can be expanded as per the requirement of the business without causing additional cost burdens. They are safe and reliable because back-up and recovery files are always secured under the protected cloud.
Cloud Catapults Security
When hacking and cyber crimes are at the peak these days, businesses should look beyond ordinary data storage solution and must adopt secure cloud solutions. Cloud computing works under advanced and strict security norms that ward off various types of cyber attacks and keep the data protected as well as integrated. Besides, taking the help of professional security firms, entrepreneurs can further shield their precious data and records.
Cloud allows Remote Access
The biggest advantage of cloud computing technology is easy management and access. SMEs that operate from multiple locations can easily store and manage data on a single cloud that can be accessed anywhere and at any time by their employees. On the other hand, centralized data management on hardware can be accessed from the selected points only, and in the case of an emergency, one needs to be physically present there.
Cloud makes Competitive
Implementing cloud based solution is very easy as compare to other hardware installation. With cloud computing, SME can have different applications together. The sophisticated and high level of data protection is available with cloud computing. Cloud Computing can work out as a blessing for many small and medium enterprises due to their flexibility and pay as they get into functioning. After analyzing all the benefiting aspects of cloud software, the Indian government both at the central and state levels is prepping up to provide cloud services not only to urban entrepreneurs but also to the ones operating from rural parts of India. This easy access to Information and Communication Tool (ICT) applications even in the rural areas would solve most of the storage and other work related problems of SMEs providing them with fair and equal opportunities to work and grow in this highly competitive market.
By equipping the SMEs with technological prowess, cloud computing helps them to have equal footing and at times stay ahead from big corporates in this increasingly competitive and dynamic workplace. These organizations need to realize and exploit the potential of this technology with all their strength to enjoy the most of the benefits that it offers.