Historically, smaller enterprises have always been at a disadvantage when competing with larger rivals. From an IT perspective, big companies had the financial resources to develop systems and applications and deploy them at scale, leaving smaller companies lagging behind. Cloud computing has changed the status quo, enabling SMBs to compete on a level playing field. Here, we look at why the cloud is so beneficial for smaller businesses competing with larger rivals.
The cost of developing an in-house infrastructure capable of running the multiplicity of IT operations that businesses need in the digital age makes it unaffordable for smaller enterprises. Beyond the expense of the hardware, there’s premises, staffing, software licences, app development, power and other costs that make digital transformation financially impossible to achieve.
The cloud has democratised infrastructure and, in some ways, turned in-house data centres into legacy IT. By providing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud vendors give smaller businesses the ability to create systems on a par with larger competitors without the need for any investment in on-site infrastructure and, at the same time, eradicating its associated costs.
The cloud is so cost-effective that even global powerhouses are adopting it, dismantling their on-site data centres at the same time.
Getting to market quicker
In today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, businesses need the agility to react swiftly to change and get new products and services to market quicker. Those that get there first can benefit significantly.
The cloud offers the fastest solutions to meet these challenges. With unequalled setup speed, cloud users can deploy a fully functional infrastructure and cloud-based apps for big data, automation, IoT, AI and ML, etc., almost instantaneously. As a result, this can make SMBs far more agile than larger competitors shackled to in-house systems and legacy applications.
The benefits of scalability
One of the big attractions of the cloud is its scalability: the ability, for users, to acquire unlimited, additional IT resources on-demand, as and when needed, and to scale back when they are not. This eradicates all need for maintaining redundant hardware to cope with spikes in demand or to run occasional resource-heavy workloads – what’s more, as it’s charged for on a pay-as-you-go basis, it is exceptionally cost-efficient.
To achieve the equivalent redundancy in-house would require the purchase of additional servers which, considering their function, would be a highly expensive solution for on-site scalability.
Cloud’s scalability, in this sense, offers smaller businesses both operational and financial agility, making it far easier for them to equal the resource capacity of their major competitors.
The benefits of managed cloud
IT expertise is both expensive and scarce, so it’s far more productive if enterprises use their teams to work on business-oriented projects instead of day-to-day management and maintenance tasks. While larger businesses may be able to afford the luxury of having both management and development teams, smaller businesses need to focus their experts on where they can have the greatest impact.
By migrating to a managed cloud provider, smaller enterprises can increase the amount of time their IT team has to work on business projects. Aside from ensuring their infrastructure works faultlessly, the managed cloud vendor will also take care of many of the management tasks on the company’s behalf, for example, updating the operating system and applying security patches. Indeed, it is even possible at Hyperslice to create bespoke management solutions tailored to the specific needs of your business. In doing so, smaller enterprises can focus on growing their business and employ IT professionals that are development specialists.
With such a heavy reliance on IT and with increasingly stringent regulations, IT security is critical for modern enterprises. Indeed, businesses have increased spending on security by over 20% over the last few years. Implementing robust security on-site, however, requires the purchase of advanced security tools and the acquisition of IT security expertise. The costs of doing so have hindered the security of many businesses that rely on in-house systems.
Cloud vendors, on the other hand, have to provide these exceptionally robust security measures to protect their own and their customers’ systems and have to comply with their own strict regulations. This means that SMBs that move to the cloud will have the benefit of a multi-faceted security solution that includes next-gen firewalls and intrusion, malware and DDoS protection. Cloud vendors also offer ideal solutions for data protection and compliance, disaster recovery and business continuity.
High availability is essential for business applications, ensuring critical services don’t go offline. One of the biggest competitive benefits SMBs can get from adopting the cloud is its 100% guaranteed uptime. With cloud service providers having 24/7 system monitoring, failover servers, redundant off-grid energy supplies and multiple mirrored servers in different geographical locations, SMBs can be reassured that their services can be maintained even if a disaster occurs.
Achieving high availability of a similar standard with an in-house system requires significant capital expenditure and remains the preserve of all but the largest organisations – though most of those have adopted cloud themselves for the same reasons.
Cloud adoption provides SMBs with a cost-effective way to acquire infrastructure and services on a par with larger rivals. They can improve time to market, overcome scalability issues, make better use of IT staff, improve security and ensure critical applications remain online. As a result, they become agile enterprises, able to compete on a level playing field.
For more information about our managed cloud solutions, visit Hyperslice.com.