The economies on the western world can have many of us looking up to the skies for a solution. The answer might lie in the Cloud.
Triple dips, the rise in self-employment, loans for SMEs and pension schemes; the business news doesn’t have a great deal of pleasant reading for UK commerce right now. In fact it can be understandable if many simply want to keep their head down, ignore the news and just get on with it, minimising any risk to their company as they go along.
Yet there is one piece of news that should have SMEs and business owners pricking up their ears. A report in Forbes magazine claims that for small to medium size businesses who want to expand or grow, they can mitigate their risk by using the Cloud.
What the economy in the UK, the US and Europe needs is successful businesses, willing to take a risk to grow, seek new business and thus create more jobs and a greater turnover. Without that, the economy lacks confidence and will stagnate – what many believe is the issue we have right now. So what SMEs need to take the plunge is self-determination, the sense that they have control over their company again and aren’t at the mercy of market forces.
The Cloud can help with that. The Cloud levels the playing field. It reduces the amount of outlay a SME will have to invest in order to grow. They might want to experiment with a new piece of software to offer a new service, to expand and open a new office employing new members of staff or to start attracting clients from further afield. At every stage the Cloud can help.
Trying out a new piece of kit can involve exploring something online that can be tried and tested by staff using a centralised Cloud Server. It’s cheaper and doesn’t require an IT member of staff to advise and maintain it. Similarly instead of sourcing and paying for expensive office space, new members of staff can involve a professional working remotely but still with access to the same shared documents and data via say Hosted Exchange or SharePoint. Staff members hired at a reduced cost (because there is no need for office space, rather than reduced wages) can help you appeal to clients from further afield helping your company to grow. You can also keep your employees up to date on the latest techniques and know-how, no matter where they are based and a much reduced rate.
The Cloud makes your business and brand more consistent no matter how far away from the core it gets. Forbes reports that 74% of small to medium businesses plan to use the Cloud in the next year. The real strength in it lies from the fact that the Cloud is bespoke. You adapt and adopt the services from providers depending on your need, rather than having to take a package off the rack, so to speak. This makes it much easier to focus on how you want your company to grow. Cloud strategy will be an important tool for SME owners in 2013, helping them embrace risk.