By Neels Pretorius, Technical Services Manager
Enterprises have begun exploring cloud-based infrastructure, but SMEs stand to benefit the most from this transition. In 2014, World Wide Worx found that 22% of SMEs in South Africa were using cloud services, which equates to a 13% increase from two years earlier. More and more Aptronics clients from the SME space are enquiring about the benefits a move to cloud infrastructure could offer their business.
There are a number of reasons why cloud-based infrastructure is ideally suited for small businesses and start-ups:
No upfront costs
We’re living in a world where IT infrastructure is still one of the biggest expenses for small businesses. Subscription-based infrastructure models have proven to offer huge savings for SMEs looking to maintain tighter control of their cash flow. Paying for services on a subscription basis bypasses the need to invest huge sums of money in on-premise infrastructure.
Reduced time to market
Normally, setting up IT infrastructure for a new business can be a process that takes weeks or even months. One of the biggest benefits of cloud infrastructure is the speed-to-market if affords SMEs. Instead of having to wait for lengthy IT provisioning, start-ups can take advantage of readily available services, allowing them to bring product to market in mere hours.
Cloud infrastructure affords SMEs the opportunity to make use of only what they need, when they need it. This allows SMEs to predetermine cost per person and have an enormous level of flexibility, that wasn’t possible before.
Cloud-based services are designed to be always available, on every device. Services like Office 365 and virtual desktops empower users to do their jobs anywhere and at any time, leading to a boost in collaboration and productivity.
In order to provide a fully supported IT network, SMEs need a multitude of skills. With cloud-based services, the complications associated with implementation, maintenance and support are entirely removed. The pay-per-use model is what allows SMEs to scale as they grow, without the need to continuously invest in costly human resources.
When partnered with the right service provider, SMEs can enjoy even greater data protection and recovery, thanks to the cloud’s ability to store data in multiple locations, safe and out of harm’s way. In addition, SMEs can have access to specialised expertise through their cloud providers, making backup and recovery simple and cost-effective.