News & Views

How cloud services have changed SME business operations

by John Lane - Nov 29, 2016

A boardroom where employees dicuss the operations of the business

Cloud technology is changing the way businesses operate on a fundamental level – across industries, and across the globe. This is especially true for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who no longer have to face the steep startup costs of building a technological infrastructure from scratch. By lowering barriers to entry and empowering SMEs to compete with established companies, cloud services have created a far more cut-throat business environment, where any competitive edge can make a significant difference.

Cloud services can be divided into three categories: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). While each category is targeted at a different business type (or, for larger organisations, part of a business), they all affect business processes in a similar way.

In this article, we’ll outline five of the most important ways that cloud services have changed business operations.

Increased scalability

As SMEs grow, they need to be able to scale their business processes and operations in an efficient and cost-effective way. Cloud services enable this, as they no longer have to worry about growing pains such as running out of server capacity and data storage. Additionally, most cloud providers can simply add further services to the package or subscription as the need arises. This gives SMEs more control over exactly how they scale, while reducing the capital expense.

Better data management

Digitally storing data has already been the corporate norm for several decades, which makes data management a critical priority for businesses. With cloud storage and security measures, businesses have increased access to their data, can do more with it, and can rest assured that it’s always backed up and secure. Relying exclusively on on-premise data storage substantially increases the severity of physical threats like fires, theft, and natural disasters.

Automatic software updates

On a more practical level, cloud services reduce any disruption caused by manual software updates. Automatic software updates directly translate into increased uptime, so business operations can continue unabated. In terms of cloud security services, this also means the company network is always protected against the latest malware definitions intrusion methods.

More flexibility

With cloud services, employees can access key files and information from anywhere in the world. This increased flexibility gives employees the freedom to work remotely, which can do wonders for their work-life balance and motivation. Businesses working on the cloud also have the option to tap into global resources to build an international team. For SMEs trying to break into a new market in a different country, it’s helpful to have someone on the ground.

Lower operating costs

Through cloud services, SMEs gain access to high-performance infrastructure on a subscription basis without having to invest heavily and expend valuable resources. They also have the option of outsourcing various IT processes to IT Consultants and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) like PowerNET, who can add substantial value and insight without having to invest time and money into building an internal IT team from scratch.

When it comes to cloud services and SME technology, we’ve seen it all. Take our commitment-free IT health check if you’d like to know how your IT systems and infrastructure measure up.

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TAGS: it strategy