June 19, 2012
LONDON, June 19 — Cloud is enabling SMEs to act like, and appear to be, organisations of much greater size and scope. Commenting on the findings of recent Gartner research (Gartner Executive Programs, January 2012), Gartner analyst Dave Aron recently said that 'cloud-based services are allowing small companies to have industrial-strength IT very quickly". Unfortunately only a small number of SMEs recognise the true benefits that cloud computing can bring to their business:
"In the first quarter of 2012 noticed that many SMEs are 'missing the wood for the trees' by focusing only on immediate costs" says Michael Carter, "and ignoring strategic cost savings and potential increased revenue a move to the cloud may lead to". As with all new technology local regulations may restrict the use of some cloud-based services by organisations in certain industries. I would argue, however, that the benefits of cloud computing to SMEs far outweigh the potential drawbacks as outlined below.
Carter provides his more recent 8 Benefits of Cloud computing for SMEs
These benefits enable small and medium sized business to stay focused, be more collaborative, and bring products to market more quickly, because they've got access to the kind of infrastructure that only large companies used to have," Judith Hurwitz, president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates commented last week. Gartner recently surveyed 2,000 CIOs across 50 countries and found that CIOs expect cloud technologies to enable them to divert considerable resources - as much as 50 percent of their budget away from operational tasks towards strategic and core organisational goals.
The government launched a new Enterprise Capital Fund in April, 2012 that provides £40 million in funding to support high-growth SMEs. "It is absolutely vital that ambitious small firms can access the finance they need to expand and grow," said Mark Prisk, Business and Enterprise Minister. This recent government investment demonstrates the level of impact cloud computing has on SMEs and the level of external backing to facilitate SME growth.
Google Apps, priced at just £33 per user per year is a cost-effective, efficient public cloud solution for small and large businesses worldwide.
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