New research by market analyst Techaisle has revealed the importance of cloud computing in helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expand.
Some 80 per cent of SMEs in the United States say that cloud computing contributes to the growth of their business.
The technology, which allows for new data management solutions, is usually seen as a means of reducing costs. Techaisle’s findings depart from this analysis in the emphasis placed on promoting growth by SMEs.
Cloud suppliers should expand their marketing dialogue beyond the traditional cost-based focus to demonstrate ways in which the technology can help SMEs access new markets and reach new customers, the market analyst claims.
Over 40 per cent of SMEs state that business agility and new capabilities are driving SMB cloud adoption.
According to Techaisle, the new business growth trend creates a “‘perfect storm of opportunity for cloud computing”.
“It satisfies the demand for new technology-enabled business capabilities such as mobility, social media, business intelligence/analytics and collaboration by providing a platform for supporting these initiatives.
“At the same time, as IT continues to struggle with cost control, cloud provides a clear means of reigning in CAPEX capital expenditure and reducing management costs.”
The research also documents the existence of a mid-SME niche, of between 50 and 250 employees, in which IT productivity is the overarching cloud objective.
Small businesses of under 99 employees tend to focus strongly on business benefits: the most compelling cloud benefit is said to be increased business agility.
This is followed by obtaining capabilities that would have been cost/time prohibitive, reducing business process-related costs, and improving staff productivity.
Mid-market firms, while also appreciating these benefits, state that the biggest benefit is IT-related – “make our IT staff more productive” is cited as a compelling cloud benefit by nearly 60 per cent of mid-market businesses.
Companies of 500-999 employees, on the other hand, focus on cloud delivery benefits such as capabilities, agility and IT productivity.
These groups are found to have different perspectives on how cloud delivers value to their companies.
As the trend to embrace the Cloud continues, organisations need to provide their employees with clarity on how to safeguard the organisation’s operating environment and critical data.