How the Cloud Will Impact Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Wade Yeaman discusses how the Cloud will impact small and medium sized business now and in the future.  

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I was recently asked a question, how the Cloud will impact SMBs now and in the future. And although I'm not Nostradamus and you can't count on this, we're going to take a shot at.

But we first should level set by explaining what SMB is, because I want to assume everyone knows what that is. Because we're techy, andwe speak in acronyms.

It is not social media blitz. It is not snow monkey ballet, although that would be kind of fun to see. SMB is actually an acronym for small and medium business. And that generally means 10 to 250 employees.

If you look at that, you realize that means a lot of businesses out there in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area alone there's over 100,000 SMBs.

So quite a lot.

And in fact, according to the US Small Business Administration, there are 23 million small businesses across the USA.

And what's really staggering about but that is they actually contribute 66% of all the new employees and new hires in the workforce. So there's a lot of business and a lot of buying power that's in that little package.

So SMBs really are what make the economy kind of go around.

So it's important to know what the Cloud will do for them. And the Cloud is impacting all SMBs in ways that give them more options than ever before, really allowing them to run, improve, and grow their businesses in new and better ways.

One example, software that used to be unaffordable because you had to buy the entire package, and it unattainable now can be purchased by the drink or by the sip. And so it's affordable now to SMBs. The Cloud also allows SMBs to work from anywhere at any time and from any place.

And so there's a lot more flexibility in the workforce and that really translates to value for SMBs because they don't have to get off the space, which is often one of the biggest cost factors related to running a business. So they are able to get into business quicker, and expand quicker, and grow in ways they didn't have before.

The Cloud also allowed start-ups to actually escalate and expedite the way that they grow their business, because they canlook like and behave like a large business literally overnight,because they have access to systems that typically you wouldn't be able to afford unless you were of a certain size, and would take years to get there. And they're able to get right off the ground,because if, for example,in the fluid Cloud, we can put up a server within a few hours, and to the rest of the world you're going to look as though you are JC Penney.

Maybe that's a bad example.

But you can make yourself look as large as you want to be. By allowing SMBs to buy only what they want when they need it without the requirement to invest in large quantities of hardware and software, they're able to compete, because they've lowered their cost.

And we know that the cost for Cloud saves businesses anywhere from 30% to 50%. So they're able to compete faster and compete on price faster, because they're not having to invest in those technologies.

And also the really great benefit that I like is what we see is business owners are able to focus on running their business and growing their business rather than worrying about all this technology that's off in a closet somewhere.

So the Cloud allows them to really focus on their business rather than running an IT shop.

In the future as the Cloud expands, the options will expand. And so what we'll see is it will continue to enable small to medium business, SMBs, to have better tools, better information, and more intelligent in running their business, which should translate into direct value for them and their customers.

So I would see that the access to it will only enhance their ability to provide better customer service. As SMBs migrate from where they are today, which is kind of a fear of the Cloud, of the unknown, I don't know what it is and so I'm going to avoid it, and they start to embrace it, I think they'll find themselves really more empowered to do more with less and have the ultimate agility they need to be as fluid as the marketplace dictates.

And so once they get over their fear, and they take the time to get a little education, which is what we're doing here, and they embrace it, I think that we'll find that they will become even more of a force then they are today.