The competitive landscape for business is changing. Larger businesses that previously relied on economies of scale and large investments in IT infrastructure as a source of advantage have seen a re-balance in power. Recent developments in both technology and Cloud computing have enabled smaller companies to grow their business faster, enabling them to compete against larger businesses. With minimal capital expenditure required and reduced barriers to entry, there’s no reason why entrepreneurs can’t access many leading technologies that can benefit their business.
A recent study undertaken by the Boston Consulting Group revealed that SME leaders in technology adoption increased their annual revenues 15% faster than those with lower levels of adoption.
Availability of Technology
Cloud services have altered the way businesses operate. Whereas email hosting, data backup and online sharing previously required significant investment, they are now readily available thanks to cloud computing. Cloud technologies have permeated across all core business processes, including:
- Email and collaboration tools, e.g. Office 365, Google Apps
- Accounting packages
- Customer relationship management systems
- File sharing software
- HR administration
- Backup and disaster recovery
What are the benefits to small businesses?
Thanks to cloud technologies, SMES can now access many of the leading technologies used by large multinational businesses, bringing many benefits such as:
Continuous Availability – The ability to access your information online means that you can work from any device and anywhere. This provides far greater flexibility and allows you to be more responsive to your client’s needs.
Cost Reduction – Updates to cloud services are automatically administered, saving you both time and maintenance costs.
Scalability – Cloud services can be scaled in accordance with your business growth, making them perfect for fast growing small businesses. Extra capacity can be purchased on an ‘as needed’ basis, rather than acquired way in advance when you can only guess at your company’s future requirements.
Collaboration – Greater accessibility to your information means that it is also easier to share information in real time, promoting team work and collaboration among employees and clients.
Data Backup – Your data resides in the Cloud, which is supported by multiple servers across various data centres, helping to prevent data loss and providing a suitable backup option for your business.
Competitive Advantage – With the increased efficiency and reduced costs associated with cloud technologies, they can be a key driver of competitive advantage. 59% of small businesses agreed that cloud technology helped them punch above their weight and compete against large businesses.
Taking the leap into the cloud can be a daunting move for small businesses, which may explain why adoption is still limited. But the benefits to small businesses are vast and can lay the foundations for future growth. So don’t ignore this new opportunity – seek advice on how you can make the Cloud work for you.