A great deal has been written recently about the use of Cloud Computing by bigger companies. However, there are significant benefits available for small businesses too. These include mobile agility, increased competiveness and a significantly reduced IT cost structure. The recent move to the Cloud by many organisations has been funded by the way in which the technology eliminates much of the need for expenditure on traditional back-office infrastructure. These benefits are being highlighted at the Business Show 2013 by Doherty Associates through its acclaimed CloudToo® solution (www.cloudToo.co.uk).
In contrast to traditional IT usage models, where applications and data are run on highly expensive back-office data centres, the Cloud delivers superior software performance and access on a much simpler pay-as-you-go basis. As the data is now maintained in the Cloud, the huge levels of investment that were once ploughed into the back office can now be redirected by organisations into game changing strategies that drive business agility and competitiveness. In short, this is because many small businesses can now invest in processes not in systems and as a result the resources freed up can be invested in areas that boost the organisation's business prospects instead. The CloudToo® approach ensures that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) optimise these many benefits for their own business needs.
One of the key areas where these benefits are most visible is in terms of device independence. As market leading Cloud solutions such as Microsoft Office 365 are now wholly device independent, it doesn't matter what device or how many devices a user is accessing the technology with. This allows SMEs to deploy contemporary strategies for their business teams such as "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) and also Mobile Working. With a mobilised workforce, tasks can be now be carried out anywhere and concepts such as home working become a reality for some roles. This can ultimately reduce the amount of office space and overhead required by the SME and therefore delivers an even greater cost saving to the organisation. Such significant cost savings mean that SMEs are more profitable and better able to invest resources where they are really needed such as growth.
In addition, by moving to Cloud technology, small businesses also gain far greater IT fire power at a fraction of the cost required compared to traditional back-office alternatives. As a result, they can now access the very latest enterprise grade IT. In most cases these are systems that previously they just could not have afforded and this in turn allows them to investigate using other new areas of technology which can boost productivity. This means that the technology limitations of the past are just that - a thing of the past. In IT terms then Small businesses can now compete, on a level- playing field, with even their biggest competitors.
There are many other major benefits too. For example the Cloud enables organisations to adjust their technology to changes in scale. In other words they can easily increase their use of Cloud apps should there be a sudden boom in demand and corresponding growth in the company's size.
Security is another major benefit too as Cloud vendors invest significant sums in making their technology highly secure. This is far more than the individual business could ever invest themselves. Thus, by moving to the Cloud, business operations are far better protected from the increasing number of systems attacks we see in the market.
When one combines these significant productivity benefits and cost savings with the greater scalability and agility available, one appreciates the significant level of resources freed up for investment in growing the business itself. For companies that have just survived the recession, Cloud technology can actually help to supercharge their business prospects.
However, whilst the benefits are clear, there is still as need for education as Doherty Associates still finds that many entrepreneurs and small business owners are unaware of the major financial, commercial and technical benefits available from Cloud computing, regarding it as something exclusively for the larger enterprise. CloudToo® helps organisations to move safely to the Cloud with a level of expertise and experience that they may well not possess in house.
Microsoft is also taking a lead here by investing heavily in bringing the benefits of the technology to the fore. And with over 23 years of our own experience in bringing effective IT solutions to companies in London, the South East of England and beyond, Doherty Associates welcome this professional approach greatly. Doherty regularly joins forces with Microsoft to hold in depth seminars on how Cloud technologies such as CloudToo® can help business. There also offer a Cloud Readiness Assessment programme available that uses a simple traffic light system to advise users on the specific areas where their business is more or is less ready to make a move to the Cloud. Doherty Associates can then develop a roadmap to plan the move smoothly, through CloudToo® without interrupting the businesses' operations. Those who would like to see how Cloud technology might benefit their own business through a Cloud Readiness Assessment should call 0208 987 1150 or email: address: firstname.lastname@example.org