Cloud computing is more than just a trending topic or industry buzzword. It’s a game-changing approach to managing data that has already proven its staying power and its impact on businesses’ productivity, profit margins, and growth potential. The benefits of cloud computing are numerous, but they’re particularly impactful for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).
But before we dive into these advantages, let’s take a step back to understand what cloud computing is, and what its impact has looked like thus far.
What is Cloud Computing (and Why is Everyone Talking About It)?
To put it simply, cloud computing is an approach to hosting and maintaining data via — as you can probably guess — the cloud.
Some examples of cloud services (or delivery models) may sound more familiar than the more general term; they include Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as A Service (PaaS). You’ve probably heard those terms come up quite frequently as of late. It seems that cloud computing is top-of-mind for organizations of all sizes these days.
And there’s a reason for it.
Unlike it’s on-premise counterpart (in which data is hosted via dedicated, in-house servers), cloud computing offers a more scalable approach by hosting, managing, and processing data in the cloud. This means organizations can stop worrying about managing systems and data in-house, thus freeing up time to focus on bigger priorities, like cost-savings, scalability, and revenue growth.
How Cloud Computing Has Proven Its Staying Power
Cloud computing has been around for quite some time, and we’ve been seeing just how well it pays off since as early as 2013.
In fact, over four years ago, nearly one-quarter of businesses investing in cloud computing were already seeing improvements in time to market, increases in efficiency, and reductions in operational and IT costs. In 2015, Dell reported that companies investing in cloud solutions were seeing nearly 50% faster revenue growth than their competitors.
These benefits of cloud computing are even more commonplace today, and we’re seeing an even longer list of advantages becoming the norm.
Why Both Large Enterprises and SMBs are Investing in Cloud Computing
By 2020, it’s predicted that the cloud computing market will be worth $162 billion, seeing an average year-over-year growth rate of 19%.
Across industries, businesses recognize the considerable revenue opportunity, and many are already trying to claim a piece of the pie:
Businesses of all sizes have high hopes for cloud solutions, but larger organizations have a slightly different focus and objective than smaller ones.
This year, 76% of large enterprises prioritized improving the speed of IT delivery as the most important outcome of investing in a cloud solution, while only 66% of SMBs did. For bigger organizations, this priority item was closely followed by a focus on achieving more flexibility to adapt to a changing marketplace. For SMBs, the highest priority that followed was enabling business stability, growth, and scalability.
With small businesses focused more heavily than larger ones on enabling growth, there is potential for exponential progress in the short-term. Larger organizations, on the other hand, are more focused on improving existing processes and preparing for the future, making it less likely that they will see the same marked improvements in business growth today.
SMBs are seeing the benefits of cloud computing pay off in a big way. Here are some of the advantages we’re already seeing, and others we’re expecting to see moving forward:
The Benefits of Cloud Computing for SMBs So Far (and On the Horizon)
In 2018, 81% of companies say that operating in cloud computing has had at least a moderate (and often outstanding) effect on their automation efforts. Over 40% of businesses who have adopted cloud solutions wish they had done so sooner. But for SMBs, the results of investing in cloud computing are even more impressive. They can include:
1. Lower Costs
In addition to a reduction in hardware costs, a cloud solution allows SMBs to take advantage of a pay-as-you-go subscription model, and eliminates the large up-front cost of an on-premise solution.
2. Better Efficiency and Productivity
Implementation is faster, cloud-hosted information is more easily shared, and your IT team’s time is freed up without the need to manage or maintain your cloud infrastructure.
3. Faster Speed to Implementation (With Cloud ERPs)
As early as 2014, businesses with SaaS or cloud ERPs were reaching their first go-live milestone 19% faster than those with on-premise ERP solutions. This speed has remained a benefit of SaaS ERPs today.
4. Increased Security
Data is backed up off-site, reducing the risk of cyber security attacks and mitigating the challenges of recovering data during a potential outage.
5. Eliminating Manual Software Updates
There’s no software update installation needed; your software will always be updated in real-time to the latest available version.
Thanks to cloud solutions’ ability to change alongside your business needs, you will have increased flexibility to grow and scale with minimal hiccups or hurdles. Plus, as your business grows, you won’t need to pay for additional hardware or worry about more maintenance.
And these benefits aren’t just hypothetical.
Many SMBs have already begun to see the benefits of cloud computing (or have been for years already). Many SMBs who have invested in cloud solutions have seen:
And the ability to reinvest cost-savings into their business
Improved security (for 94% of SMBs)
Is your organization an SMB considering an investment in cloud solutions?
Even if you’re already running Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central or SAP S/4 HANA, you should know: your ERP isn’t the only aspect of your business strategy that can benefit from being hosted in the cloud. You can reap the benefits of cloud computing with a SaaS e-commerce approach (integrated with a cloud ERP, or an on-premise ERP). That’s where Sana comes in.