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Cloud Is Good for SMBs | @CloudExpo @Infor #IoT #BigData #Microservices

By moving to the cloud, you are almost guaranteed to save both time and money

It seems that all we hear about these days is the move to the cloud. Certainly, it's a top-trending technology topic for enterprise-sized organizations. But don't let the hype mislead you into believing cloud deployment is just for large businesses. Small- to medium-sized organizations can absolutely reap the benefits of cloud. In fact if you're an SMB, you have even more to gain from cloud deployment - and you run a real risk of missing out by not going to the cloud.

According to a September 2014 study by Deloitte, SMBs using an above-average number of cloud services grow 26 percent faster on average than those that don't use cloud tools, and are more profitable by 21 percent on average.

As a small- to medium-sized business, you're likely working with a smaller budget and less manpower than your enterprise-sized counterparts. Saving time and money is even more critical to your overall success. By moving to the cloud, you are almost guaranteed to save both time and money. You won't have to worry about maintaining systems, solutions or hardware - pick the right cloud provider and all that will be taken care of for you.

But that's not where the benefits end. Here are five ways cloud deployment can help your business be more agile and prepared for growth.

1. Pay as you go
Cloud deployment requires just minimal up front spending on hardware and software. Plus, you only pay for the capacity you use, which eliminates the need to cover the costs of expensive on-premise data storage and management. All of which means that you're spending less on technology infrastructure, so you'll have more money available to invest in your company's growth.

2. IT on tap
The benefits of cloud don't stop there. Your IT team won't have to spend their entire day on updating servers, replacing hardware, managing software updates, so they'll be free to concentrate on the mission critical tasks that facilitate growth. In this scenario, your cloud vendor is your IT partner - an extension of your business that essentially expands its scope without the need to hire additional internal and costly resources.

3. Economies of scale
There is no denying the value in economies of scale - and moving to a cloud-based solution is no different. Multiple users can access cloud-based resources at the same time, so individual productivity is enhanced, and you'll be able to do more with fewer bodies. Thanks to the auto-scaling functionality within the cloud, you'll be able to identify anticipated changes in user demand to secure the required hardware and software - when you need it, and not a moment sooner. As a result, you'll be able to get new acquisitions, regions, or countries up and running quickly and cost-effectively.

4. Mobility
The technology advances that cloud computing brings probably have the biggest impact on your business. To do business in a cloud-based environment, all you need is access to the Internet. No matter where you are or what device you are on, you can work. This mobility allows the leaders in your organization to make mission-critical decisions on the fly and in real time based on real-time data. Your workforce will have the mobile tools they need to collaborate with their cohorts across regions and even countries.

5. Ease of use
The beauty of migrating to the cloud is the total ease of use. You'll have fewer upgrades to manage so you won't have to concern yourself with hardware or software glitches. Your cloud provider will handle all of that, so you'll be able to focus on what matters most - realizing a faster time-to-market and ultimately growing your business.

The benefits of flexibility, scalability, and agility inherent in cloud-based solutions are hard to deny, especially for a small- to medium-sized business. With cloud deployments, you pay for what you use; you can pivot easily to meet either increased or decreased demand; you can reduce your technology overhead; empower a more productive workforce; and ultimately maintain a level of competiveness that can't be achieved with conventional on-premise IT. It's time to move to the cloud.

More Stories By Lisa Pope

Lisa Pope is Senior Vice President of Global Strategy and Sales, Infor CloudSuite. She is responsible for the global strategy and sales of Infor’s Cloud Solutions, as well as overall value positioning of Infor’s UpgradeX program, allowing existing customers a simple path to the cloud. With 25 years of experience in the software industry, specifically in vertical industries including manufacturing, distribution, retail, and healthcare; she brings direct sales, services leadership, and cloud knowledge to the Infor team.

Prior to Infor, Pope served as Senior Vice President of Global Sales Strategy at QAD, where she managed the overall cloud sales strategy and the North America region. She also spent 10 years as Vice President of Strategic Account Applications at Oracle.

Pope holds two bachelor’s degrees in business and communications from the University of California – Santa Barbara.

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