The rapid expansion and easy availability of technology has made it possible for small and medium enterprises to adopt the latest technology to ensure a more enhanced and streamlined business model. However, surprisingly, only 30% of small businesses are using cloud technology and 10% are not even familiar with the same.
With large investments happening in the overall cloud technology industry, why aren’t SMEs going for it more aggressively? A Gartner research report shows that $111 Billion of IT spending has shifted to the cloud from on-premise, and will increase to $216 billion by 2020. A recent CISCO report shows cloud traffic slated to jump 262% by 2020 and touching 14 zettabytes (ZB) by 2020. Cloud traffic will represent 90% of the data centre traffic.
All this raises a very pertinent question — Can SMEs actually benefit from moving to SaaS and can cloud technology really further their growth?
Well, the fact is that with clear benefits, SaaS-based solutions may also prove to be a challenge for the SMEs, especially if the business is growing rapidly in headcount and/or its geographical location.
So is it actually beneficial or not for a small or medium enterprise to move to SaaS as opposed to on-premise workloads? We explore.
Cloud Technology allows you to be at work at any time, from anywhere in the world, through any device, as long as you have a decent internet connection. Remote working is a very prevalent incentive for employees when working for an SME or start-up, eliminating the burden of a monotonous 9–5 job. Mobility makes it easier to add new resource and allows you to customize the access to any location. The whole team can access all or any versions of the business data from anywhere, without being physically present.
This also lends mobility to all required collaterals, data, stats etc, hence making it easier for employees with a travel-based job to deliver efficiently. All the files, documents, folders can be shared on the SaaS system, making it easier to access the same. With cloud technology, all the resources may be improved on-demand at very minimal pricing, allowing you to grow rapidly.
Data Security is one of the major concerns of all SMEs today. Data breaches are affecting companies a lot and this has become one of the biggest drivers for cloud-based solutions. SaaS tools have fewer security incidents as compared to local servers that pose a higher risk of loss and theft of data due to problems such as: hardware issues, update errors, software concerns, human error, faulty electricity, bad weather etc. Most SaaS service providers ensure all maintenance and data protection, along with on-time updates, for the users.
Cloud solution providers secure your data in an efficient and robust manner. Data storage in the cloud ensures expert protection of your data, with necessary precautions taken by the providers to protect it from any possible breach. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, cloud not only protects your data but also backs it up. This provides the desired precautions in case of any data loss, crashed server, broken system etc. This enables you to focus on your work, without having to worry about any data breaches.
Cost is one of the core problem areas that any small or medium business faces when it comes to deployment of technology, since implementation of most modern technology is expensive. SaaS solutions have proven to be a smaller significant initial investment for the required hardware and software infrastructure, thus enabling the technology to find favour with small businesses. There is zero capital-expenditure fee and there is an option for subscription based model also, where you pay as per your use. With SaaS, there is also no expenditure on power, cooling, upgradation expenses, software license expenses etc. Better cost management is a real benefit for small enterprises, whose financial resources may sometimes be limited.
One of the key features and a boon for SMEs is the flexibility feature of any SaaS software. It provides you with the option to pay as per your use, making it ideal for organizations that are growing at a fast pace and have future expansion plans, as it helps you scale up when required. Some providers also have a subscription model that allows you some free days in the beginning as a trial period to test out all available modules and then allow you to choose the best one for yourself. This level of agility also provides SMEs a competitive advantage. There is no need for any software or hardware installation. Flexibility is one of the fundamental reason why many companies are going the SaaS way.
Scalability and Reliability
In addition to being highly flexible, SaaS tools are also extremely scalable and reliable. The technology in itself can strategize a planned growth. As your business grows, the cloud software allows you to scale up to the next level, and add users, modules, servers etc. It doesn’t require you to purchase any additional software. Similarly, it allows you to scale down as well.
Quite clearly, SaaS solutions are more reliable than traditional on-premise software. There is no upfront cost, minimal investment, less maintenance cost and are highly secure. One of the most important features which makes cloud systems more reliable is the automatic software updates. There is no paranoia of missing out on updates, or losing data because of delayed upgrades, since it happens automatically.
Undoubtedly, cloud technology minimizes investment and is time-saving. It also allows access to technology that earlier only large enterprises could afford, thus making it a good bet for most SMEs.
What you Tangish, you accomplish.