In the UK alone 581,173 start-ups were registered with Companies House during 2014, this was reported to be a record high as Britain’s hunger for business boomed. So it’s no surprise that as the biggest IT revolution over the past decade, 49% of small businesses are using cloud platforms.
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With the ability to punch above their weight and compete with larger, more established companies, adopting cloud software has been the ticket for success for many of young start-ups still in their infancy.
Whilst many SME business owners can be scared about the concept of cloud, with concerns raised surrounding cost, complexity and security, if businesses don’t begin to adapt themselves they could soon find they can no longer compete.
A recent report by Forbes estimates that cloud applications will account for 90% of worldwide data traffic by 2019, and with such a staggeringly high percentage small businesses should not be reluctant to transform their methods.
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The benefits that can be reaped from embracing the cloud can not only increase productivity but enable them to grow far quicker than traditional businesses who are keen to stick to outdated practices.
It wasn’t long ago that small businesses were having to find investment so that they could pay the large upfront fees for IT and software solutions.
Taking out excessive overdrafts is the last thing that a business owner wants, and this is something the cloud has revolutionised for start-ups. Software as a Service (SaaS) offers a range of solutions so that small businesses can pay-per-use, and still have the same support and help as their much larger competitors.
When cash-flow is something that SME’s are cautious of, this is a significant aid in enabling owners to keep an eye on costs and still have access to the most up-to-date software.
Putting small businesses on a level playing field with their competitors is something that was impossible before the introduction of the cloud, without potential risk or fear of dramatic financial implications, but the cloud offers the same sophisticated software to all without discriminating on size.
organisations adopting cloud computing could cut their software costs by up to 20%
A recent report from the European Commission found that organisations adopting cloud computing could cut their software costs by up to 20%.
The financial agility that is now available is a fact which should be embraced by small businesses rather than ignored.
The old fashioned problem of hardware failures, loosing time thanks to delayed projects and missing staff, is all a thing of the past thanks to the implementation of the cloud. As long as there’s an internet connection, business can now be done anywhere at anytime, meaning that whether you hire freelancers or have employees out of the office, the business can continue running from any location.
Allowing staff to access their applications and files remotely is extremely beneficial to small businesses who previously would have found this disruptive to the traditional constraints of working hours, and lost precious time and money. Instead SME’s are no longer restricted to a bricks and mortar location, and can expand their team much further a field and cope with the issues that would have held them back in the past. Gone are the days suffering lost days because your staff are stuck at home due to bad weather, or your hardware has died.
SME’s are no longer restricted to a bricks and mortar location
However, the cloud not only battles old problems, but helps to boost the existing problem of attempting to help a business appear more successful. For example, start-ups could have their head office in a more cost effective area but promote the fact they are a ‘national’ business due to the representatives they have across the UK.
Creating the illusion that a business is much bigger than it appears can enable them to winner bigger contracts and grow more efficiently without being tied down by excessive overheads.
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It’s well known that SME’s are vital for growth in the UK’s economy, and making the most of what the cloud has to offer can be transformational for these businesses. But the adoption needs to be an educated one and supported by the wider business and digital communities.