Last week, in this blog post, I discussed some of the incredible opportunities Cloud computing can offer Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), particularly the manner in which new software offered by companies like Microsoft realises the potential for true global collaboration and flexibility between companies and colleagues. It is a point of pride for us that our experience working with SMEs has allowed us to develop products like CloudToo, through which even companies at the smaller end of the spectrum can benefit from Cloud technology, taking advantage of our revolutionary, flexible, hybrid Cloud system.
As a follow up to this article, new figures concerning the use of Cloud technology - and in particular, their benefit to flexible working - have been published this week, which demonstrate the extent to which SMEs are adopting this new technology and using it to support their increasingly flexible approach to conducting business. The full article can be read here, but some of the key figures to take from it are as follows:
60% of SMEs are using Cloud-based applications.
86% of surveyed businesses have staff regularly working from home, with 47% having someone working remotely once a week and 28% having at least one employee working from home every day.
43% see Cloud based applications as essential to successful flexible working
62% believe flexible working leads to more positive employees
(Figures taken from research by the British Chamber of Commerce and BT Business and YouGov on behalf of Vodafone)
Even for SMEs, Cloud based IT is becoming an increasingly common part of running day to day business operations. For a smaller company whose employees have roles that encompass several different facets of the business, Cloud applications allow the creation of flexible and cohesive business strategies. Furthermore, Cloud technology is instrumental in allowing work to continue effectively for professionals with numerous other private or personal commitments.
What these figures show most clearly is a move away from the traditional small business model. SMEs are using new IT developments to mirror the globalised, 24 hour style operations of large corporations, but without having to invest heavily large scale IT upgrades and the inevitable increase in personnel that comes with such an investment. This means that business opportunities previously inaccessible to SMEs are now realistic targets. For example, collaborating with a business in China or Chicago on a project that would benefit both companies can now be accomplished with tools that allow real time, shared document editing, easy video calling and unified project management notes.
As more and more SMEs adopt Cloud applications to increase the potential of their business, it becomes increasingly important for those yet to adopt newer technology to understand the benefits and advantages of concepts like Cloud computing. Doherty specialise in helping SMEs optimise their IT support systems, using the flexibility of CloudToo to create a hybrid that gives access to the latest cloud technology whilst maintaining the core elements of the existing IT system. Across the globe, SMEs are turning to Cloud technology to help them optimise the way they work, changing fundamentally the way in which IT supports the development and growth of business.