Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are lagging behind their enterprise counterparts when it comes to cloud adoption. With the new year (and new decade) fast underway, a recent Microsoft study showed that more than 96% of enterprises are using the cloud, compared to only 78% for SMBs. And while the use of cloud-based productivity apps like Office 365 has steadily grown among these smaller companies, their continued reliance on legacy software in key business applications such as ERP or accounting is impeding them from competing effectively with today’s top players.
Given this situation, moving to the cloud should be an obvious priority for SMBs, but many myths and misconceptions still exist regarding the benefits of cloud technology. Below are the ten most crucial and game-changing benefits that SMBs have reported after investing in cloud solutions.
Simply put, companies that move to the cloud make more money. And not by a small percentage, either. SMBs that invest in the cloud report up to 25% growth in revenue and up to 2x the profits over those who don’t. Embracing the cloud is simply a better path to faster growth. Additionally, cloud deployments provide a greater return on investment (ROI) than traditional on-premises software projects, especially in ERP and CRM.
Cloud subscription models eliminate up-front capital expenditures (CapEx) like the high cost of hardware and software licenses for projects like ERP software implementations. They also eliminate server and infrastructure setup, update, and maintenance fees—not to mention the resources saved on software upgrades, energy costs, and underutilized computing resources.
Cloud software allows small businesses to remain always-on regardless of location. In today’s mobile and cloud-first world, the ability to be productive on any phone, tablet, or laptop provides the flexibility required to quickly adapt to changing information and
business needs. This means more agile operations and happier customers.
The hassle and cost of routine IT maintenance tasks can be effectively offloaded to the cloud, enabling IT resources to focus on more strategic tasks like addressing problems, improving user experiences, fostering user adoption and best practices, and getting more value out of systems and processes.
With cloud computing, all software updates are handled automatically, so critical systems always have the latest functionality and security features. This effectively ensures that all the benefits of a vendor’s ongoing R&D investments are transferred to their customer’s business, without that business having to dedicate any time or additional resources.
SMBs need increased flexibility to grow and scale without hassle. With the cloud, as an SMB adds users, generates more transactions, or adds more data, services dynamically scale to manage the workload. This eliminates the need to pay for more hardware or maintenance to support business growth.
Digital, cloud-based work spaces offer the opportunity to collaborate more effectively and remove data silos to enable greater employee productivity. Additionally, cloud-based office productivity suites and all-in-one business management solutions possess integration capabilities that simply can’t be matched by on-premises software.
Cloud applications are typically compatible with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that simplify integration, while automation tools like Microsoft Flow facilitate stitching them together without any custom code. Data and systems can be connected like never before, resulting in new levels of speed and efficiency.
Small businesses are the most common victims of security breaches. In a recent study by ComScore, over 40% of small businesses were worried about data security before moving to the cloud. After making the switch, 94% of businesses reported security benefits they had been unable to achieve with their previous on-premises resources.
Moving to the cloud gives SMBs access to enterprise-class technologies that were previously only available to the industry’s top players. With the cloud, any business can run on the exact same systems used by the largest, most sophisticated companies in the world, enabling them to innovate and act faster than competitors that manage on-premises legacy systems.
Cloud adoption is well underway but when it comes to making the move, Microsoft research shows that SMBs lag behind enterprise counterparts. In fact, 96% of enterprises are using the cloud, whereas only 78% of SMBs are following suit. As you know the cloud can be a game changer for businesses–big and small! This week’s infographic demonstrates the ten most crucial benefits that SMBs report after investing in cloud solutions.