One of the biggest selling points for cloud computing is that it gives small- and medium-sized enterprises the chance to level the playing field with their bigger competitors. For the first time, large corporations no longer have the advantage of having the economies of scale on their side. That means that even when you are competing against a large company with a lot of IT and technical staff, redundant systems that allow for over provisioning, and other undue advantage that large companies have over smaller competitors, you can still compete with them because the cloud demolishes these advantages.
Here are some surprising facts about cloud computing and how it can help SMEs:
1. SMEs become more agile than corporations.
Small and medium-sized businesses can easily get on the cloud and have the same resources, personnel and manpower that big corporations have. In fact, with the advent of cloud computing, SMEs actually have an advantage over their bigger rivals. This is because smaller companies can typically move faster than corporations. For example, the business owner can decide to try out one software as a service (SaaS) from a cloud provider to offer their customers, and it could all be set up in a week or less. Corporations need to move carefully and slowly, often needing approvals from several decision-makers and their stockholders before being able to do something.
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2. SMEs can now have more capital for other things.
But it goes beyond that. More than just merely being able to launch new products faster than corporations, SMEs can also save from using cloud infrastructures for their needs. Small businesses would no longer have to earmark a budget for computer systems that would have otherwise cost them a lot of money. With all that savings, small enterprises can move the money around and spend on the things that would help them grow the business. On the other hand, budget talks in big companies can be tricky and time consuming. So even if a small business and a big company decide to get on the cloud at the same time, the small business owner would still have a good head start in being able to reallocate the capital for other projects.
3. SMEs can now have their IT personnel focus on more important things.
This does not just apply to monetary capital, it could apply to other resources as well. A small business opting to get on the cloud can have their IT staff focus on more important IT projects. For some businesses, it could also mean that they could do away with having an IT guy altogether. This is because cloud service providers usually have their own IT staff to help you troubleshoot anything that crops up with their platforms. So you basically get experts working for you. This cannot be said for bigger companies. Even if a big company gets on the cloud, they can never really do away with their IT personnel. They would need them for other tasks. So in comparison, you get experts working for you, while a corporation’s in-house IT staff might not be certified or knowledgeable with a particular cloud service.
4. SMEs can enjoy full flexibility.
Another advantage that SMEs have over big corporations is that they can choose from solutions that are very flexible and they could tailor-fit these solutions to their needs. They do not have to settle for a platform that does not meet their requirements, nor do they have to pay for features and functionality that they do not use. In contrast, most big corporations have very complex requirements that even the most flexible cloud service providers would not be able to meet. So they end up deploying their own programs and platforms.
Photo courtesy of lennysan.[/expand]