As we see 2013 moving further and further away in the rear view mirror, I wanted to reflect on one of the most significant technology advances in 25 years that occurred full swing last year. It is now not only easy but extremely prudent for small to medium sized businesses (SMB) to move to the cloud right away!
A Mixed Batch Solution
Over the years, I’ve held many sales and sales management positions and have worked in partnership with most of the large Technology companies like Microsoft, HP, IBM, EMC, Oracle, NetApp, and a few more. The one true constant that I have observed is that very few sales people working in these companies ever really want to focus on small and mid-size businesses or the SMB market as it is often called. Generally speaking, it is because sales people are selling their company’s full suite of products that cost millions of dollars to purchase and integrate, usually exceeding the coffers of most SMB companies. This lack of focus on small business has resulted in a shortage of fully integrated solutions for the SMB. Because of this shortage, small businesses have been forced to create their own IT solutions, usually with Microsoft, various accounting packages, some CRM systems, various software, some data bases and hardware. In the end they have created some mixed batch of a solution that sort of, kind of, worked ok.
So that leads to my passion and excitement for writing this blog: Now is TRULY the time for the SMB to go to the cloud and have a complete IT solution to run their business, without the headaches of managing it. The IT Technology playing field has been leveled by the Cloud and now SMB companies can enjoy the same computing power of Fortune 100 companies for a fraction of the cost. Cloud companies are now offering cost effective IT solutions for SMB companies that the technology giants mentioned above failed to deliver. In the past, SMBs usually exceeded their IT budget and decided to stop spending money before they ever got an IT department running efficiently and effectively. Now however, thanks to the cloud that is a thing of the past. With that being said, here are the top 10 reasons why 2014 is the perfect year for the SMB to move to the cloud.
- Replace your traditional IT: A Cloud solution replaces your traditional IT and frees up your time to focus on your own business. Cloud solutions can eliminate your servers, software, maintenance, storage, and headaches and replace them with a predictable monthly cost that saves you money!
- World-class security: Cloud providers spend millions of dollars to provide firewalls, intrusion detection systems and encryption all aimed at protecting the data they hold. In many cases the cloud is the more secure way of storing and accessing data, just because your data is on-site does not mean it is safe.
- Level the technology playing field: The Cloud levels the business technology playing field. A SMB company can now enjoy the benefits of Fortune 100 computing resources and services by moving to the cloud. Not only does it give you access to technology worth millions of dollars, but it also saves you money.
- Save money: The cloud eliminates large unpredictable capital expenditures and saves you money with a monthly predictable cost. You will see a strong Return on your investment from going to the cloud versus upgrading servers and software. The cloud typically save clients 20% to 40% on their IT costs!
- Save time: The cloud is simple to manage, make changes, scale up and down, etc. You will also like that there is virtually no downtime and no need to spend time managing your IT and you can spend that time working on your own business.
- Access the cloud from anywhere: You can access the cloud from anywhere, with any device, and, at any time, with just a simple login. There is no need for a VPN. All you need is internet access from anywhere such as your home, an airport, a library, a coffee shop, etc. and you can do your work!
- Start slow or go full speed: You can crawl, walk, and run to start moving your IT to the cloud with email or backup and then scale as you wish to add users and capabilities in the cloud.
- Rapid time to market: You can move to the cloud almost immediately as there is a rapid time to market. Once in the cloud, you will discover new ways to bring new value to your customers.
- You simply need internet access: All you need is internet access to log into the cloud and you are able to have all your companies’ most widely used apps at your fingertips.
- Competitive edge: You gain a competitive edge with 24/7 reliable access to the cloud. This also takes the competitive edge away from larger companies who could previously afford IT that small companies could not.
Written By: Tom McElligott
Senior Account Executive, TOSS C3