Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are becoming better equipped in terms of technology with each passing year, because the costs of procurement are falling just as the capabilities of IT platforms are becoming more ambitious.
There are a number of significant technologies that have risen to prominence recently and because of the fast-paced nature of the market a service can move from being little understood to becoming the next big thing.
For example, a 2010 report from GFI Software that looked at SMEs’ appreciation of cloud computing found that a quarter of IT professionals had little understanding of what this term even meant, let alone how it might benefit their business.
Two years later, you would be hard pressed to find someone operating inside or outside of an IT department who was not intimately familiar with the idea of cloud computing, even if he might still remain relatively cautious about its application in his particular business.
The cloud has become a hot topic for SMEs because it offers two intertwined benefits that could not be achieved using traditional in-house IT set-ups. It is able to offer a cost-effective way of delivering scalable, high-end support for apps, data storage and infrastructure, which can be purchased as a utility.
In its most appropriate form, at least in the context of SMEs, the cloud can be used to help businesses pay for software, storage and infrastructure as and when needed. This means that companies are never having to expend resources on setting up internal servers and workstations that might fit a budget but be unfit for purpose, or an expansive system which is only rarely used at full capacity and is therefore an inefficient drain on the budget.
One thing that has remained consistent in the cloud market over the past two years is the fact that SMEs, along with larger firms, are choosing to adopt a hybrid approach to the cloud.
While there is the option to segregate on-site platforms from those which are remotely hosted, it is far more common for companies to blend these two elements so that private and public platforms are working in harmony, with one supporting the other.
This is ideal for SMEs because it means that they have the capacity and scalability of the cloud on tap at all times while also having the security and control which comes from maintaining an on-premises system.
Much of the cautiousness surrounding the topic of cloud adoption is beginning to dissolve as SMEs become more comfortable with the hybrid model, since it helps to address many of the concerns that were previously held in certain industries and allows the benefits of the cloud to be gleaned at the same time.
There are of course other interlinked technologies that are being adopted by SMEs as a result of advancements made over the last few years. In particular, the cloud, in combination with smartphones and tablets, is allowing for mobile and remote working capabilities that were previously unavailable on the current scale.
Smaller companies are now encouraging staff to bring their own devices to work and use them to improve their productivity when they are out and about, largely because employees are already starting to adopt smartphones for this purposes irrespective of managerial permission.
The culture of BYOD is giving small businesses a much more productive and reflexive working environment, which means that they are not confined by the traditional office space and can operate effectively while out and about.
As familiarity grows and fears dissipate, these new technologies will continue to shape the way that SMEs develop in 2012 and beyond.
This article was written by Daisy Group plc one of the leading communication companys in the UK in providing robust and secure business solutions including flexible & mobile working, cloud computing and datacentre solutions to small medium and corporate business across the UK.
|This article was written by Daisy Group plc who are leading are a specialised communication company providing robust and secure business solutions including flexible & mobile working, cloud computing and datacentre solutions to small medium and corporate business across the UK.|