Gartner has recenty predicted that by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today. CIOs will increasingly leverage a multitude of cloud computing providers across the entire IT stack to enable a huge variety of use cases and meet the requirements of their business unit peers. Indeed, the tides are shifting toward a “cloud-first” or even “cloud-only” policy... 

Marc Wilczek

How To Tap Cloud Computing To Obtain A Competitive Advantage

How To Tap Cloud Computing To Obtain A Competitive Advantage

Because of the popularity of the digital global economy, any investment in technology by small and medium-sized enterprises can provide them with a competitive advantage. Cloud computing has allowed small enterprises access to data systems which were once available only to huge corporations. Automatic data backup in the cloud reduces cost and even maximizes the cost flexibility of the company’s IT services and software. IT issues have also been reduced because the cloud computing service provider takes responsibility for such matters. Small businesses can then focus their efforts on other things, allowing them to grow their businesses. With cloud computing, small entrepreneurs can work anywhere, anytime.

Most businesses employ people who are either working from home or are always on business trips. Their suppliers, as well as their customers, may be found in other countries. Using cloud computing technology can increase the business’s productivity. KPMG released a research report in Australia suggesting that the adoption of cloud computing services could increase the Gross Domestic Product by as much as $3.32 billion annually after ten years. A business website can derive  greater advantages, as it can help to expand the business customer base, increase business credibility and visibility, and identify untapped revenue streams. Research by MYOB also found out that almost two-thirds of small and medium-sized enterprises in Australia do not yet have websites, and that those which have an online presence are starting to enjoy better operational and financial milestones. Contrary to common misconception, creating a website is easy, and there is no need to employ specialist IT personnel for the sole purpose of creating one.

Online retail and e-commerce are currently experiencing a surge as more and more customers turn to websites for their shopping needs—these clients can shop at the comfort of their homes. Many online stores provide money transfers and payments over the Internet, and even traditional brands are creating online stores in order to compete with online businesses and seeing an increase in revenue. Small and medium-sized businesses must consider going online in order to grow quickly.

In order to better communicate, segment, and understand their customer base, companies must be able to tap technology in order to explore opportunities and streamline operations. Employing high-quality workers is also a factor in gaining a competitive advantage. The use of old technology is a detrimental factor to business growth, because new technologies have been found to reduce costs and increase productivity. No business would be able to hold onto tech-savvy workers if its technology were not up to date.

It is important to note that when a business decides to bring its business online, it is not only offering lower prices, but also better service and greater efficiency. Although many customers are drawn to online shopping by price, the reputation of the business and quality of service play an important role in customer decisions to purchase online. By investing in technology, a business can support customers’ need for an innovative shopping experience. Software applications are available in order to assist online shop owners so that they can understand and know their clients and be able to respond to their requirements. The use of new technology can equip a small business owner to make informed decisions regarding retention and expansion of their customer base as the business deals with the challenges brought about by its online competitors.

By Florence de Borja