According to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)can be defined as “non-subsidiary, independent firms which employ fewer than a given number of employees.” “Fewer” than the conventional “big” corporations mean 50 employees or less in small businesses, and anything from 51 t0 250 for their medium counterparts.
Another way to define SMEs is by their financial assets. In the case of Canada, the definition extends to any business with less than 500 employees, and less than $50 million dollars in gross revenues as the ceiling. SMEs can be anything from mom-and-pop establishments to firms giving very specialized services. And with the rise of e-commerce, some of these businesses have scaled up their operations to go from local to international—the world is their oyster, so to speak.
In this article, we root for SMEs and talk about an up-and-coming technology that will definitely help them in a quest for growth: cloud hosting. Here’s our take on how cloud hosting works, and some of the great tradeoffs SMEs will receive when using cloud hosting for business.
How Cloud Hosting Works
There are some great points to be made for both web hosting and cloud hosting. But a number of SMEs, especially those that are starting out and without many frills to their user experience (UX), have explored a cloud hosting (also known as shared hosting) plan.
In cloud hosting, the management of the website’s data files is shared across multiple servers instead of just one.
Often, this translates into greater accessibility and reliability of the website; if something goes wrong with the original server, it is possible to shift the functions to a faster alternate. For SMEs that conduct much of their business online, and cannot afford to lose their 24/7 availability or traffic from guests, cloud hosting is a great and cost-effective starting option.
Key Benefits to Small and Medium Businesses
Investor relations and corporate social responsibility specialist Intuit Inc., together with NASDAQ, estimates that cloud computing will transform the way small businesses operate, as per their report “Small Business Success in the Cloud.” As of 2014, 37 percent of SMEs based in the United States were fully adapted to cloud computing, and more than double will be so by the year 2020.
We’ve done some adjoining research, and we’re happy to offer you our top three benefits to switching to cloud hosting if you are a small-to-medium business.
1. Cost-efficiency and savings. This is one of the most appealing factors of coming on board to cloud technology—many reputable providers now offer services for very reasonable prices. All in all, the virtualization that cloud computing depends on will mean a decrease in space and power consumption and IT maintenance. It will be greatly economical for the business’s value, for a higher level of performance to boot.
2. Flexibility and integration.Cloud technology can also increase mobile-friendliness, and optimize the availability of site information for any device. This has especial value to SMEs that depend on the services of freelancers or remote workers all across the globe; data will be more available at any time, and in any place around the world. As well, cloud computing can better integrate with other cloud providers for everyday functions such as accounting or human resources, freeing up time and energy for SME owners to focus on their business’s core competency.
3. Enhanced collaboration. We already know the value of the cloud from popular applications such as Google Documents and Google Spreadsheets. In these apps, multiple users can work together and make changes to files online, and in-real-time. You can depend on cloud technology to replicate that value of cooperation on a greater scale.
Trust us, it’s a great time to make an investment in cloud technology, and expanding your SME’s future potential!