From slick software start-ups, to bijoux bed and breakfasts, SME’s are adopting hosted technology to change the way they work, and overtaking big brands in the process. The latest research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) revealed that the overall cloud adoption rate of businesses in the UK now stands at an impressive 88%, with smaller businesses at the forefront. SME’s are forging ahead with hosted tech, leaving big corporations languishing in compliance confusion, but how?
Some larger organisations have struggled to make the move to the cloud, in part because they’re being too hesitant to take the plunge, but also due having heavily invested in their IT infrastructure. SME’s and start-ups rarely have the capital available to buy any hardware in the first place; leading them to the logical solution of moving to the cloud, and the host of benefits available. Five key ways that SME’s have benefitted from hosted solutions are:
1. Cost Cutting
Moving to hosted solutions offers a whole range of benefits when it comes to saving money, including: cutting software licenses & server costs (cooling, maintenance, power), utilising scalability, both up (to meet increased demand) and down (during slower periods). An often-overlooked cost cutting benefit to the cloud is the reduction in office space needed through the ability to work from anywhere.
2. Full Flexibility
A huge benefit of cloud computing is the anywhere, anytime capabilities. Not only offering the choice of working from any location, but also enabling businesses to work with freelancers or project workers. Flexible working also offers access to a wider talent pool when hiring, including mothers or people with disabilities affecting their commute into offices.
3. Complete Collaboration
Collaboration is easy in the cloud. Small businesses benefit hugely from hosted collaboration tools such as Microsoft OneDrive, which allow users in different locations to access the same files, edit & track changes & also limit editing capabilities. Utilising hosted solutions enterprise grade software, which historically was out of their budget range, means that SME’s have the same integration capabilities of much larger organisations.
4. Impressive Integration
Adopting a cloud-based business solution offers simplified integration. SMEs can take advantage of 360° business visibility. The ability to integrate cloud solutions can help a range of business departments to streamline processes & coordinate. Payroll can cut scheduling conflicts through back office integrations allowing complete live visibility of staff, HR can edit and share contracts with ease. Almost all areas of a business benefit from integrated cloud services, allowing a truly unified experience.
5. Reduced Risk
We have discussed security in the cloud many times, but the key takeaways to cloud-security are; all top cloud security solutions have protocols to protect information. This prevents any potential hackers tampering with the data. They are also required to maintain enhanced infrastructures for compliance & protection of data.
The introduction of cloud based services has been a game changer for many SMEs, allowing them to benefit from lower costs, increased security and much more. In stark contrast to past years, start-ups and new businesses are leading the way in adopting new technology and processes. It seems, for now at least, that the tables have turned; and that to keep up with the growing number of innovative start-ups and small businesses, large companies should bite the bullet and make the move to the cloud.