‘Cloud computing’ is the latest buzz term sweeping through the information-technology industry.
With everybody talking about the ‘cloud’ it can get confusing!
Put simply, cloud computing means moving or extending your business IT systems over the Internet, in order to increase the current capabilities and improve efficiency.
What are the benefits to SMEs?
- Cost Savings
Procuring, managing, supporting and maintaining physical equipment and software can be a very costly experience for small businesses. By simply shifting basic services such as email and data storage into the cloud this cost can be significantly reduced.
- Overcome barriers to capital and increase productivity
Cloud computing can help overcome the traditional barriers SMBs face through limited capital and expertise. In comparison to traditional ICT, cloud services can allow small businesses to acquire new capabilities at only a fraction of the cost.
Cloud services use subscription pricing models that outsource support and maintenance to providers that have greater resources and expertise. This allows small businesses to concentrate on their core business and leave I.T to the experts.
- Lower time to market and increased scalability
It can take a considerable amount of time and money to implement new products and services in a traditional IT environment. By using cloud services for new products and services businesses can reduce time to market and benefit from almost limitless scalability and a lower upfront cost (subscription pricing model).
In the face of global competition and the opportunities of the Asian Century, reducing time to market will be a key competitive edge for Australian small businesses.
- Improved reliability and security
Cloud services offer a range of benefits including increased security, access to the latest upgrades, integrated management and backup that may not be available to small organisations that are not ICT focused.
- Mobility, flexibility and a platform for growth
Mobility supports faster decisions and agile business models with a greater potential for growth. Mobility has been identified by 42 per cent of SMBs as a key driver of cloud service adoption.
What are the statistics?
MYOB research in 2012 found businesses that had adopted the cloud were:
- 53 per cent more likely to have seen a revenue rise in the past year;
- twice as likely to grow their range of products and services compared to those who had not adopted cloud; and
- almost three times as likely to increase staff numbers in the coming year.