Establishing Clouds potential to create new opportunities for SMBs – 3 key questions to ask
By Oliver Niemandt, GM Sales, Tarsus On Demand
As businesses become more aware of the cloud's immense potential to open up new opportunities, they are embracing it quickly. The question to ask for SMBs is how the cloud may help them increase revenue, lower long-term IT expenses, draw in new clients, and enhance company operations and security.
“SMBs need access to scalable infrastructure and capabilities available as services, in order to benefit from the cloud,” says Oliver Niemandt, General Manager Sales, Tarsus On Demand.
“Through the cloud, computing resources are available to them when needed, and they pay for their use in much the same way as one pays for utilities. As a result, they can work smarter by having access to flexible, cost-effective technology and information, where the intent is to solve the business need at hand.”
Before making the move to the cloud, SMB owners should ask three key questions:
1. What can the cloud enable that our business cannot do right now?
It’s about identifying what part of the business will be improved by cloud technology. There is a wide range of technologies available through three basic cloud services:
· IaaS* builds the infrastructure of a cloud-based technology.
· PaaS* helps developers build custom apps via an API that can be delivered over the cloud, and,
· SaaS* is cloud-based software companies can sell and use.
By using cloud services, SMBs can quickly scale both infrastructure and software as needed. They can also lower costs as they don’t need to pay for on-premises software licences, or for IT employees to do installations and upgrades. Because there are so many services available, there is no need to build from scratch and SMBs can choose from those that will serve their business needs best.
2. What on-premises technology do we no longer want to own?
Should the SMB owner prefer to move to a utility model, cloud is the obvious choice. Cloud-based technology is cap-ex free. There’s no longer an upfront investment for hardware or ongoing costs for licences and updates.
All maintenance and support sit with the cloud supplier who offers customer support, ongoing maintenance, and regular software updates.
3. Which cloud services available can be applied in my business?
There are hundreds of SaaS-based services for SMBs which generally cater for an entire business environment, spanning: CRM, ERP and Email, to name a few. Many of these are pre-developed services that can simply be fetched from the cloud and paid for on a consumption or subscription basis from managed services providers (MSPs).
The relationship between an SMB and the MSP providing and supporting the cloud solution is critically important as they provide advice and business critical reliable services on a managed basis. Trust is key as the SMB is handing over the core of its business to the provider.
Choosing the right provider
Some independent software vendors (ISVs) are proficient at providing highly specialised cloud solutions for niche demands, while others have developed solutions for large sections of the market, such as payroll and HR, for example.
“The benefits for SMBs who access our ecosystem of cloud providers is that they know they are choosing a tried and tested Tarsus On Demand partner that is experienced at solving business problems rather than technology troubles and can help them to develop a winning cloud strategy,” concludes Niemandt.