There are trends and then there are trends. Some are fun and frivolous (selfie stick, anyone?) and some - like the trend towards cloud technology - end up creating a fundamental shift in our approach and our perspective.
We are the first ones to say that it’s not necessary to jump on every technology trend out there. We fully subscribe to the idea that just because you can use or do something doesn’t mean you should.
But the trend towards the use of Cloud Technology is not just a flash in the pan. It’s not a hyped-up tech trend that will be obsolete next month. It’s the real deal and also a real game-changer for one segment in particular – SMB’s (small and medium businesses).
In fact, today’s cloud offerings have effectively changed the way that SMB’s can (and should) adopt technology, because this trend makes high quality applications accessible on a much wider scale than ever before. And it’s necessary because with the convergence of mobile devices, demand for analytics and the rise of the sharing economy, the whole world of business has changed. As a result, the best new products are all going to be designed for the cloud.
For any SMB who hasn’t yet done so, now is the time to change the way you think about technology. And in case you aren’t convinced just yet, here are 5 great reasons why you should.
5 Reasons Every SMB Needs to Take Advantage of the Cloud Technology Trend
Cloud Technology levels the playing fields for SMB’s with large enterprise business
Up until very recently, SMB’s simply couldn’t compete with enterprise in this arena. Because staying ahead of the curve with technology meant purchasing top of the line hardware, software, and applications and then also paying to have these complex systems installed and maintained.
But with this shift to buying technology as a service, the best and latest innovations are now accessible in the cloud…which makes them available to everyone. Not having to invest large amounts of cash upfront gives SMB’s equal opportunity to take advantage of new technologies that can improve productivity, mobility, collaboration and analysis.
Additionally, having IT management available as an outsourced service (yup, it’s what we do!) means that network maintenance isn’t prohibitive for SMB’s either. In fact, the decision to outsource the management of your IT is no different than the decision to use cloud services in the first place. You do it because the provider that you partner with is better at it than you are. And with thousands of cloud applications and vendors, it’s smart to partner with a knowledgeable technology service provider to help you choose and then manage the services that are best matched to your specific business goals.
Adopting Cloud Technology lets you focus on what you do best, leaving the technology side to the experts
It’s not that complicated – it’s really the fundamental reason why any such service works…because it’s something lots of people want to use and can benefit from, but not everyone is an expert on how to provide it, nor do they need to be.
It’s really the same logic that applies to using social media sites. When you have a super cool or funny photo that you want to share with all of your friends, you have choices on how to do that. You can go old school and send it out via email. You can build your own website, invite all your friends to join it, and then share it that way. Or you can quickly upload it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any of the other social sites that the majority of the population uses today and go on about your day.
So if you boil that down, your choice is to A. use an outdated method, B. to spend a ton of time developing and fine-tuning your own custom method (keeping in mind that it’s a method that already exists), or C. to use a trusted service that already offers the functionality that you want, and you know it will work because it’s well-established and is being used by about a billion other people.
Yeah, kind of a no-brainer.
Choosing cloud technologies for your business needs really offers the same set of choices. You can continue to use outdated methods that are not going to get you the same results as the modern solutions that everyone else is using. You can invest a ton of time and money in building out a custom infrastructure that will provide you with a better way of doing things…keeping in mind that what you would be building already exists. Or you can just do things better without having to spend a ton of time and money to get those positive results.
And the bonus reason? Because if/when the latest and greatest service provider gets bested by the “next best thing”, you will be able to adopt the newer/better capabilities with much greater ease, since you don’t own the cloud and you are simply renting space there for a particular service. You may need to wait out your lease, but at the end of the day, you will be much more agile.
SMB’s can adopt new technologies faster and more efficiently
It’s one heck of a lot faster to turn a small boat in the water than it is to re-direct a cargo ship, providing SMB’s a distinct competitive advantage over enterprise when it comes to adopting cloud technology.
By nature, SMB’s tend to be more flexible and adaptable. When you don’t have to navigate through layer upon layer of bureaucracy, an SMB can make an informed decision faster. They also tend to be more nimble due to the smaller size of the organization, making it far less complicated of a process to onboard all of your users and implement use of a new application or other technology in a reasonable timeframe.
With the major hurdles removed – accessibility and affordability – it’s entirely possible that cloud technology will be adopted at a greater rate and see more success in the SMB market than anywhere else.
Adopting Cloud Technology is turn-key
When you buy into any service, there are a great number of things that you just don’t have to worry about. It’s like how when you hire someone to cut your grass it means you don’t have to maintain the lawn motor or fill it with gas and oil. You also don’t have to pay insurance for the equipment. You just have to pay the landscaper. It’s their responsibility to handle the rest.
As it relates to cloud technology services, you enjoy the same benefits. You don’t have to maintain servers or perform security patches – the cloud service provider handles that. It’s also safe to say that when you are purchasing services from a reputable provider, that they are deploying modern security solutions. (This is also where a good technology service provider comes in handy – helping you vet cloud service vendors so you know your data is secure.) For the most part, you just need to set up the account, sign-in, and start using the service.
And when you choose a quality cloud service provider, you have peace of mind that it’s in their best interest to keep that service updated, protected and always available. In other words, they are going to work very hard to protect and manage this service, because that’s their business.
Save money and better manage cash flow with Cloud Technology
Thanks to cloud technology, the “little guy” can benefit from high capability technology and still manage cash flow effectively.
Reasons 1-4 point to the cost-savings already because it’s truly one of the biggest advantages for SMB’s in adopting cloud technologies. With the need to cover large upfront costs removed, cloud services are extremely affordable. They help SMB’s manage cash flow as well, with monthly user fees or subscriptions that are known and built into the budget.
With the cost spread over time this way, top of the line technology is no longer out of reach for businesses with smaller budgets and/or less capital available.
It’s also more cost-effective from the future perspective – SMB’s can adopt a cloud service without fear of outlaying a ton of cash on something that is going to be obsolete before it’s even up and running.
Now are you ready to make the most of cloud technology?
Let a trusted IT service company like Corsica Tech manage this process for you. According to IDC, SMB’s typically outsource about 35% of their service needs, so the concept of outsourcing is already familiar to most SMB's for other services.
And it makes sense! If you aren’t an expert in it, then why get mired in the details of optimizing your overall computer network, or maximizing the many benefits of these emerging cloud technologies?
Let us manage your network and your technology choices so that you can get back to managing your business. Just click below to learn more about getting started on the right Cloud Services strategy for you.