Cloud services and the SMB revolution
The word “revolution” gets more than its fair share of airtime.
Whenever something undergoes even moderate change, it seems there’s always someone standing by, ready to declare it a revolution. It probably has something to do with our American roots. The idea of an idealistic uprising stirs something deep within us.
And yet, this is one time when the word is totally applicable.
For decades, SMBs have faced a common set of obstacles. Sustaining and growing a small business has always required a delicate balance of resources. It still does, but cloud services are shifting the nature of that balance at a fundamental level.
Think of it like rolling a pair of dice. (Any SMB owner will tell you running a small business feels like a bit of a gamble.) What if you could swap the regulation dice you’ve been using for a weighted pair? New dice that are more likely to land on the numbers you want? The numbers you need?
Cloud solutions make that possible. They’re loaded dice you have license to use.
Savvy small business owners know it, too. It’s estimated that by 2020, 78% of all SMBs will rely on the cloud for core functionality. We’re not talking about a minor boost in convenience. This is transformational stuff. It has the potential to reshape how your organization operates, giving you advantages that SMBs have never had before.
Big business agility
Small businesses have never been able to compete with large corporations when it comes to infrastructure. How could they? A “modest department” at an enterprise-level organization might have a staff of more than 100. A company with a few dozen employees simply doesn’t have the people to keep up.
But the cloud is changing that.
It’s no longer essential to build out your own internal solutions. There are cloud services out there that give SMBs the kinds of tools that Fortune 500 companies have had for decades, including the ability to dynamically adapt on a moment’s notice. What’s more, strategically chosen cloud solutions will work together, offering small organizations cohesion across every service.
The floodgates have opened. Today’s SMBs have access to tools that were once the exclusive domain of big business.
When SMBs embraces the cloud, they don’t just get the advantage of more agile tools. They get a huge upgrade in support, as well.
Cloud solutions are rarely offered like off-the-shelf products. If there are issues with functionality, there’s always an avenue for requesting support. Cloud services providers can’t afford to ignore bugs, glitches or missing features. Their services aren’t free, and commercial customers rightly expect the investment to pay off.
The good news here is that you can count on cloud applications to be reliable. They have to be, or providers won’t last. And because your business is one of many relying on any given cloud solution, the back-end support is typically robust.
Issues are rare, and when they happen they’re dealt with quickly.
The emerging cloud model makes it possible for SMBs to offload a lot of routine-but-necessary tasks—everything from accounting to resource management. There are cloud services that incorporate automation, direct support, or a hybrid of the two.
That means you don’t have to use your most valuable resource (your people) to manually manage those services in-house.
Here’s where the real power of the cloud comes into play. When your people are free to plug into more productive, ground-breaking work, your business is poised to explode. The most successful companies, big and small, cultivate a culture of innovation. That’s only feasible if your organization finds ways to be efficient, freeing your staff to unlock their creativity.
Cloud solutions can make that happen.
Taking your business to the cloud
The benefits of utilizing cloud services are there. The key to making them work for your business lies in finding the right solutions in the right combination.
Your managed IT services provider (MSP) can help with that.
After all, your MSP already knows how your company operates. These are the folks who understand what makes your business tick. They should be able to find a complete set of cloud solutions tailored specifically to your needs.
And if you don’t already have a managed IT services provider, now is a good time to find one.
As we observed at the beginning of this whitepaper, running a small business can feel a lot like gambling. But it doesn’t have to. You can have your very own set of loaded dice, shifting the odds in your favor.
Isn’t it about time?