Businesses play a very instrumental role in the growth and development of a country’s economy. Largely, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) hold the majority share of all businesses globally and contribute largely to the economic output of global economies. Africa is no exception as it has one the highest number of Small and Medium Businesses springing up on a yearly basis.
A report from the World Bank indicates that SMEs represent about 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide. Formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies. This clearly shows the important role SMEs play in job creation and supporting livelihoods especially in developing economies.
It is therefore important for SMEs to operate at an optimal level to ensure that they remain productive and significant amid the era of growing technological changes. Technology is greatly changing the face of the business world today and the SME industry is no exception. SMEs can leverage on the power of technology to make business more efficient and increase revenue. One way SMEs can leverage on technology is by moving to cloud technology.
Cloud computing allows businesses to access their information and data from anywhere in a fast and convenient way in the cloud with an available internet connection. Data and information sit at the core of the operations of every business organization and so, easy access and distribution of data can significantly improve how businesses deliver services to clients. The benefits that cloud computing can bring to SMEs can be very overwhelming compared to the cost used in acquiring the technology. .
If you run an SME and you are looking at deploying a cloud computing technology but not too sure if it would be beneficial to your business, then we are happy to throw some light on the key benefits of cloud computing to SMEs.
SMEs can save money leveraging on cloud computing: The low cost of adopting a cloud computing services together with the extra cost savings measures below makes cloud computing a very money wise decision for any SME to consider.
Cost on hiring in-house IT staff: With an outsourced service provider, businesses no longer need to spend money on dedicated staff resource for managing emails, and working on an in-house IT infrastructure. Outsourcing your cloud services leaves a lot of the daily checks on backups and installations to an external expert and a small monthly fee.
Savings on data storage: With cloud computing, your business no longer have to bear the cost of expanding your data storage as all data is fully managed and stored on vendors server. This can be a very huge savings for SMEs as data and storage play a very important role in running the day to day activities of business.
Time savings: Updating applications and making sure they are running at an optimal level can sometimes be a huge challenge to an internal IT team but with cloud computing outsourced to an expert vendor, your business no longer have to worry about the latest updates on your applications and software as running on the cloud ensures that you always have your applications and software running at the optimal level.
The flexibility of access: Every business works with data information of all kinds and every day in the business world large volumes of data are exchanged to ensure services are delivered and customer needs satisfied. This means that access to business information is very critical to the operations of businesses. With cloud computing service, data and information can be accessed remotely from anywhere with a user credential. This means that businesses can function in different time zones or locations and even work remotely. Businesses can operate a work from home policy in times where it is not possible to physically work from the main office location and still deliver value at no extra cost to the business. This can significantly improve speed of work and productivity as your business functions everywhere you are.
Enhanced security: Where ever there is the flow of data and information, there stands the possibility of a data breach and attacks from both internal and external sources. One of the best ways of ensuring the security of information and data is by moving to the cloud. Your data and information is well safe and protected from external threats of cyber threats and security breach as data is always stored on a high and secured network. Cloud security measures are more effective and safer as your information is always protected with the best security protocols. Also, with cloud computing no information is lost even if devices used in storing the information is lost, your data is always safe and secure and can be accessed whenever you need it.
Improved work efficiency: Speed and easy access to data and information largely affect how efficient businesses can serve their customers and deliver a superior experience. Running your business applications and data on the cloud largely improves the speed at which your applications and software function. With cloud computing, your get a superior performance on all your business applications and data and with information at the click of a bottom you are able to deliver more value within a shorter time period and improve your overall business efficiency.
Makes room for scale: Every business goes through stages and grows along the line and so no business wants to remain small forever. As part of the business growth process, small businesses hope to become big businesses one day and expand their level operation and deliver more value to the market place. However, the idea of businesses transitioning form a small business to a big business can be overwhelming considering the level of capital expenditure that might be involved.
The great news here is that, with cloud computing you can scale to whatever capacity you want without reinventing the wheel. There are cloud solutions for every stage of your business, your cloud technology service grows along with your business and you can add up capacity of any form at any point in time without hustle.
Improved disaster recovery: Most small businesses usually get so involved with the daily activities of managing and running their business and usually would not make room for any future eventuality of disaster. However every business goes through one form of crisis or the other over a lifetime though a lot of businesses do not plan for such crisis moments and disaster periods.
The speed at which businesses recover from such crisis or disaster to operating at a normal level is critical to the future survival of the business. Because most businesses are usually not ready when such disaster or crisis sets in, it is very paramount that key data and business information is moved to cloud to ensure that you do not lose any important business information when disaster strikes. Cloud backups and applications also helps your business to recover quickly from such disasters and move to business as usual within the shortest time possible with all information and data safe and secured.