We keep hearing about Amazon AWS and Microsoft and Google peddling their respective clouds. But cloud computing is much more than just cheaper infrastructure and productivity suites. CNBC had an interesting article on why small & mid-size businesses (SMBs) are rapidly adopting cloud. They write:
Small shops with little to no money to spend on technology can subscribe to modern software for a few bucks a month without the need for a separate consulting budget.
Or, put another way, “… because they [finally] can.”
We have many SMB customers including K-12 schools and Universities with small budgets but they’re still thinking big, face fierce competition and must constantly become more efficient to thrive. They don’t want to email PDFs or Word docs for signatures but, until now, they didn’t have a choice unless they were willing to spend big $$$ on a big BPM suite and/or consultants. So, what are the top reasons SMBs are automating in the cloud now?
- Yes We Can: The #1 reason is simply that they finally can do it. Just like large companies, SMBs have sales orders that need to be counter-signed, they buy stuff and purchases must be approved, they hire people and must on-board new employees. Now, thanks to the cloud, automating these day-to-day processes doesn’t mean spending a fortune. It’s a big deal! It saves time – typically their most valuable asset.
- Mobility: Many SMBs have a single person who approves. If that person is traveling, everything has to wait. With anytime, anywhere access from a mobile phone, the equation changes. SMBs can now move fast when they need to.
- Geography/Demographics: SMBs (and, especially K-12 schools/Universities) must handle both demographic changes and the fact that it’s easier than ever to do business worldwide. This often means enabling people to interact with you in a language other than English. Once again, thanks to our cloud solutions, they finally can think global without spending a small fortune.
Of course, we benefit from Google, Amazon and Microsoft battling for customers (for the record, we still use AWS) with lower infrastructure costs, not having to buy and install hardware, improved cloud reliability etc. and customers see this reflected in lower prices.
But, our SMB customers aren’t too worried about this. They’re just moving their business forward using cloud software to automate their processes, save precious time, and respond to new challenges (e.g. demographics) because, Yes They Can!