The Cloud, or SaaS, is in reality a utility. When you use a utility such as water, you pay for the water that you use. Cloud-based apps, sometimes referred to as SaaS, (Software-as-a-Service) are purchased as a paygo method (pay-as-you-go). Instead of purchasing software (and the hardware to handle the downloads), you can rent it. Because it is scalable and cheap, the Cloud has bridged the gap between large companies with large budgets and cash-strapped small businesses.
According to research published last year by IDC, spending on Cloud services by small businesses (or businesses with 100 or fewer employees) in the US, is projected to grow by over 70 percent from last year to $4.1 billion in 2013.
That’s a striking spending increase in these economically depressed times. The increase is even more spectacular when you consider that small businesses work with limited budgets.
So, what’s driving this phenomenal increase in Cloud-based spending?
Here are 3 reasons why small businesses love the Cloud:
1. The Cloud democratizes business
As a small business owner, you are intensely focused on doing more with less. The Cloud enables small businesses to deploy enterprise class apps, including CRM, task management, and presentation tools at a fraction of on-premise application costs.
Of course, the business value of these applications is tremendous. They level the playing field for a small business and enable them to compete in a global marketplace against companies with greater resources.
2. The Cloud converts fixed costs into variable costs
Converting fixed costs into variable ones has become a necessity when credit to the SME continues to be a challenge. The ability to invest in IT software and hardware and the costly support that these require is simply not an option. Controlling IT expenses is possible, due in part to the radical pricing innovations of Cloud-based apps which allow you to pay-per-seat and per month. The Cloud allows a company the flexibility to scale back or increase your demands based on customer demand and business growth. Conversely, you can convert your fixed real estate costs into the variable costs by investing in project management software that enables your employees to work from home.
3. The Cloud offers data security
Not what you expected to read; given all the hyped up fears about Cloud security. But are onsite security measures really safe? Because it is expensive and involves additional resources, data security for most small businesses consists of anti-virus software installation. Compare this to Cloud-based companies where IT security involves physical security, data storage and backup.
The Cloud means your data resides in a server farm which is managed by a third party company. This company is, in effect, responsible for the security of your data. If they lose data, they lose customers. They have 24/7 monitoring, state of the art equipment, and their business depends on providing top tier service. Each company has a core competency; using a Cloud provider allows your business to focus on its primary business.
InfoStreet, a Cloud platform and Cloud app provider, helps companies of all sized and industries build a Cloud-based system that works for them. Contact us for an evaluation of the Cloud for your business and learn how the Cloud benefits small business.