Over the years, we have heard that the cloud offers a way for the smallest of businesses to save money. Cloud-based services can give smaller companies with limited budgets and little IT expertise access to cutting edge technology and robust computing power. The best part is that none of the cloud-based services has to be maintained on an in-house network.
Now, with the increasing popularity of more advanced technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence, small companies can dramatically extend and enrich their operations while focusing their assets where they are needed the most.
The Cloud is Transforming Business Operations
Through cloud computing, businesses can utilize another company’s services and infrastructure through the Internet. They can then store, access, and manage data or plug into advanced platforms virtually, rather than hosting them on local hard drives or servers. They can also take advantage of cutting-edge technologies without having to hire an in-house team of IT professionals.
Cloud computing has become a ubiquitous resource in the business world, with the majority of today’s global enterprises using some form of cloud computing technology to power their day-to-day operations. Consider the following statistics:
- 90% of companies are using the cloud.
- By 2023, the global cloud computing market is expected to reach $623.3 billion.
- 89% of companies use some software as a service (SaaS) in their business operations.
Adoption rates among small and medium-sized businesses, in particular, are also on the rise with almost half of all companies using SaaS in the U.S.A in some way to power their document management, online backup and storage, HR and payroll processing, and online accounting.
While many small and medium-sized enterprises report a reduction in operating expenses as a result of adopting cloud technology, there are many other benefits to operating in the cloud. Here are three forward-thinking reasons for small and medium-sized businesses to move their operations to cloud computing:
- The world is moving online. The proliferation of mobile devices has led to a key trend: the ability of physically remote parties to conduct transactions, share information and collaborate in real-time. This trend has enabled an increase in remote work arrangements, e-commerce, and the gig economy. With so much activity already happening online, it just makes sense to have online systems to support them.
- Personalization is a significant competitive advantage. Today’s cloud platforms are getting smarter and more intuitive. Some SaaS platforms, for example, are now using an AI-driven service model. This setup allows businesses to analyze extensive collections of data and offer hyper-customized experiences. A growing body of research suggests that consumers and business to business (b2b) customers alike want to do business with companies that provide personalized experiences.
- Flexibility is the key to survival. If the events of the past few months have taught us anything, it is that businesses need to be flexible and adaptable to ride out periods of uncertainty or turbulence. Cloud-based services are not only more cost-effective but are more frequently updated and offer a more secure, scalable solution than anything “offline”. They can also create the space for the automation of certain redundant, error-prone tasks as shifting workflows put new demands on employee output.
An example of a Bahamian SaaS solution is FindrPro’s ProPay Software, launching September 2020. For Bahamian small and medium-sized businesses, it offers an intelligent platform to manage employee pay, time off and benefits with automatic integrations to government platforms for on-time reporting and to local banks for direct payroll without the extra manual work or an expensive in-house network.
In short, cloud computing can help smaller companies to free up their assets and take a load off of their operating budgets as well as greatly enhance their operations. In the process, they will meet their vendors, business partners, workers and consumers where they already are to create collaborative, flexible and personalized experiences.