A study of 2,975 small business leaders from around the globe found that small businesses that use the cloud are more likely to have higher profit margins than businesses who are non-users.
The recent research published in the Exact 2015 SME Cloud Barometer Report discovered that ‘heavy’ users of the cloud achieve greater revenue growth, as well as double the profit of companies who use only little or no cloud computing.
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it’s important to maximize profitability where possible, especially when you have limited resources. A recent revolution in the world of business computing has been the growth of ‘the cloud’, which can reduce the need for large servers and make it easier to roll out software and apps.
Can the cloud help maximize your business profits?
So, is this report a true reflection for businesses on the advantages of the cloud? There is the probability that businesses that are more profitable are more likely to invest in cloud technology to begin with, however some of the economic benefits of using the cloud are also unquestionable.
Here are a few key examples of how investing in the cloud can help with cost saving:
- Less initial capital expenditure on items such as servers
- Lower risk of expensive software packages, many software vendors provide flexible payment options such as pay-as-you-go contracts
- Software updates can be done remotely, saving costs on engineer visits, etc.
- Electricity costs and expenditure on maintenance contracts are reduced
- By selecting the right provider and a contract that suits your business needs, cloud technology can help improve the security systems your company use to protect data
- Time-saving recovery options: if there is an outage, backup and recovery solutions can eliminate the waiting times needed for manual support
- Some contracts allow customers to increase and decrease resource consumption depending on their usage
- The cloud offers flexible solutions for businesses so services can be tailored to the specific needs of a company
8 steps for considering cloud investment
If you are an SME business looking to invest into the cloud then here is an 8 step guide you need to consider first:
- Research several cloud service providers
- Talk to other business owners about their cloud services
- Get your head around the basic cloud service (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS) and deployment (private, community, public) models so you can make a contribution to the decision and be happy it’s right for you
- If you are a cloud novice then consider investing in some consultancy; the investment made in making the right choice could save money in the long-run
- Read the small print so that you don’t get roped in to a long-term solution that may not be suitable in 6 or 12 months
- Be sure about security. Is the location of the stored data important to you? If so, where does your potential cloud provider store their data? Do you need a sovereign cloud?
- Check that the provider’s security procedures are robust and that they have back up plans in case of an outage
- Review your own security procedures to make sure there is no risk on your side
Which countries are the growing adopters of cloud technology?
Asian countries are likely to be the next big adopters of the cloud with many developments taking place in this area. Singapore is already one of the biggest adopters in the Asia-Pacific region leading the way in this industry.
So with cloud computing set to become a more significant tool for businesses of all sizes, and with technology advancing rapidly too, it’s certainly something that no SME should ignore—and it could also have a positive effect on your bottom line too.