With trends such as cloud computing, mobile, social media and big data creating a new world of opportunities, can SMEs afford to sit back and not invest in new technology? We’ve previously spoken about the need to build a business case for cloud computing, but we are now seeing a second wave with cloud adoption – with businesses realising that cloud can be a real competitive advantage.
According to a recent global study by the Economist Intelligence Unit and IBM, companies that implement cloud solutions for big data, collaboration and customer relationship management can achieve double profit growth ahead of businesses that are more hesitant to adopt new technologies. Those surveyed commented that it’s getting harder to ignore the shift in IT services when these solutions have become so much easier to buy and consume – at the click of a mouse.
While some businesses might have concerns about data security or application availability in the cloud, figures like the above should encourage all SMEs to consider taking the plunge with cloud computing. With 63% of businesses planning to increase their reliance on IT in the near future, arguably they can’t do this without investing in new, more intelligent technologies such as the cloud.
It’s not just the competitive advantage that the cloud offers, but also the benefits it can offer to boost the efficiency of in-house processes. We recently spoke of the need to invest in new solutions such as remote working and file sharing that are enabled by cloud computing. While these might not have a direct impact on revenue or sales, having a more agile and collaborative workforce will lead to a leaner and meaner business.
Whatever the motivation for cloud adoption – being able to serve customers better, or enabling staff to work remotely – cloud will empower SMEs to employ new technology innovations with ease.
Do you agree that embracing cloud can be a competitive advantage for a business in this day and age? Are there other technologies SMEs should embrace to become more successful digital businesses?