Cloud Services – The Game-Changer for Small Businesses
I remember when every small business had a files server, an email server, and a server to run some line of business application like Pastel. Sometimes there was a single machine and sometimes multiple machines. This has all changed in what feels like a very short period.
Line of business applications, like Pastel, moved online, and the introduction of Office 365, now Microsoft 365, was a game-changer for small businesses. It meant that suddenly, small businesses could have access to the same level of business services as larger Enterprises at a fraction of the cost. However, more importantly, it meant that small businesses could get rid of all the physical infrastructure (servers) which they had to maintain themselves. Larger SMEs with more complex systems still had to maintain some form of server self-hosting, which meant that they had to juggle a hybrid cloud model, connecting cloud infrastructure and on-premises infrastructure.
This is where most businesses find themselves currently, and they are pretty content. Job done! We moved to the cloud! Well… not so fast.
Cloud services started as a replacement for physical infrastructure or, in the case of Microsoft 365, a replacement and major enhancement to Microsoft’s Office software. But, sadly, the most significant benefits of cloud services are still not used by SMEs.
The real game-changer?
The replacement of monotonous business functions, business intelligence and speed of delivery is the REAL game-changer for small businesses, and these all come with a very affordable price tag. Cloud services use a consumption model, meaning that you only pay for what you use. Being smart with what you use and how long you use it makes these very advanced systems conveniently available to even the smallest business. The same model changed the way we worked right at the beginning of the cloud onset when we swapped Office 2010 for Office 365.
So, why don’t more businesses use cloud services?
If this is all so great, why don’t more businesses make use of it in the correct way? My theory is that there is a big disconnect between what is possible and what people think is possible. Cloud services are vast and complex, and in order to understand how to use these services successfully, you need someone that understands the business and know what is possible. In my experience, most managers in SMEs know very well how the business works and know what would make a big difference to the business. However, it stops there as they are not necessarily aware of the cloud’s solutions to solve these issues.
So, what is needed to solve this conundrum?
It really is simple. The only thing needed from a business is an awareness and a willingness to embrace cloud services to their full extent. Once the motivation is there, it generally is easy for a knowledgeable cloud partner to find game-changing solutions.
The conversation starts with, “It would be great if…” and we attach the if to the how.
Does this sound like a journey you are ready to make? Get in touch today!
IT in a Box specialises in providing data integration services. We first assess what the business needs are while also making recommendations knowing what is possible. From this point, we work backwards and build integration services between existing systems to provide the required outcome.