Small and midsize businesses need to evolve in the ever-competing and now globalized economy. And unlike larger companies, they must adopt new technologies to be able to compete in fair square. Small Companies, SMB’s, PYMES in Latin America and stat-ups around the world, are taking advantage of these new technology, driving revenue growth through new customers and serving better their existing ones.
Cloud computing is one of these new technologies that has gained growing support among SMB’s. Cloud solutions enables SMB’s to become more agile, operate more efficiently compared to larger-sized companies, by providing tools and solutions that otherwise were too expensive and wouldn’t be unavailable to them.
Cloud solutions provides small companies a way to overcome several business challenges they face when investing in IT:
- Cloud solutions are easily scaled to reach revenue and performance goals.
- Cloud Solutions require less investment in the upfront and can be up and running in just days.
- Software are maintained and upgraded without the need of technical or programming resources as they are maintained remotely.
- They do not require an on-premise installation, such as physical space for hardware, electricity, racks and cabling, connectivity, electricity, expensive cooling systems for servers, nor a physical server at all.
According to the IDC InfoBrief “Using Cloud Capabilities for Competitive Advantage: How Small and Midsize Companies Worldwide Are Adopting Cloud Technology to Meet Key Business Goals” sponsored by SAP in April 2017, access to cloud solutions and tools access to technologies was considered unaffordable and complex, But today, it is not only enabling greater agility and more efficient operations, but also a clear path to growing and competing against larger enterprises.
Following are some recommended guidance for Cloud users, ranging from the early adoption stage of end-users to more advance companies:
Early Stage Cloud Users or “Cloud Beginners”
- The first stage of cloud engagement involves a process of evangelization, where the company needs to leverage this new resources to have maximum impact. Stimulate new and improved processes, better team hands-on involvement, and how work load is simplified simplify with collaborative, cloud solutions.
- Identify next areas for cloud adoption. This can be a new operational area or specific resource or resoruces, where it can help to fix an approach that is not producing as expected. Past research has shown “low-hanging fruit” that can easily and quickly show positive results is where most small and midsize firms have the greatest success in deploying new technology. Demonstrate results, fast.
- Improve efficiencies and performance will drive visibility of cloud expansion. Ease of deployment and simplifying IT management are one of the top reasons for investing in cloud solutions, not cost savings, although it is a result. Promote how processes are being improved and how much better is the feeling of performing the job is with your new cloud solution.
Intermediate Stage Cloud Users or “Cloud Expanders”
- Small and midsize companies deploying multiple cloud solutions and applications are on track to maintain a competitive position. New resources can help coordinate operations, but the next step toward improved business performance and outcomes is more demanding.
- Cloud solutions can allow small and midsize companies to give better usage of existing on-premise technology investments. Rather than the need to support existing resources, cloud capabilities should be perceived as a potential force that provide remote and mobile users with capabilities they might not otherwise have.
- This means taking a different look at business operations to identify where new approaches and ways of doing business will help you go from “modernizing” to “transforming.” Effective application of cloud capabilities can be an important part of that process.
Advanced Cloud Users or “Cloud Leaders”
- A small group of SMB’s companies are significantly ahead of their peers in taking advantage of cloud computing resources. While some companies and firms have built their operations on cloud applications, it is more typical for companies in this group to be “digital immigrants” that have fully embraced their “new land” and are shedding unproductive technology vestiges that compromise agility and drain resources.
- With operations making full use of cloud computing functionality to support workers regardless of location, the next challenge for advanced cloud users is to spread low-friction environment to customers and suppliers. While a company does not have to be an advanced cloud adopter to benefit from coordinated supply chain resources or a comprehensive “single view of the customer,” cloud capabilities can play an important part in facilitating both approaches.
- Finally, the integration of on-premise and cloud capabilities in a hybrid IT environment will be essential for successful participation in the new digital economy. The digital transformation of small and midsize firms as they retool internal processes and external engagement with new technology will depend on the speed and flexibility associated with cloud capabilities.
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Source: Using Cloud Capabilities for Competitive Advantage: How Small and Midsize Companies Worldwide Are Applying Cloud Technology to Meet Key Business Goals; An IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by SAP | April 2017