Small businesses are the life-blood of our economy, they employ nearly half of the people in this country and deserve to be seen as the vital force that they are.
Yet in terms of technology, small and medium enterprises – SMEs - are often seen as tagging along, late adopters and behind the times.
With the advent of cloud computing that no longer needs to be the case.
With the availability of fully integrated cloud based IT systems, smaller businesses can look and act very like much bigger enterprises, punching way above their weight and gaining business in new areas as a result.
Big providers like SAP have not traditionally been seen as part of that small business community but things have come a long way in a short time. There is now a network of SAP channel partners like us at In Cloud Solutions - boutique operations who really engage with SMEs because we are an SME ourselves.
When we launched earlier this year we got our own SAP ByDesign system up and running in less than 2 days and that is the kind of efficiency we offer to our customers.
78% of all SAPs customers are SMEs and SAP is working really hard to ensure that this remains the case.
But we also understand that our community is looking for something different to their Large Enterprise counterparts, not better, not worse, just different. SMEs don’t have pots of cash to throw at the problem, they need sustainable results quickly and cost effectively and want to know about other SMEs who have done this before.
Recent research from Ingenious Britain found that 96% of UK SMEs are looking to grow and when a small enterprise becomes a bigger one then the need for smart technology becomes pressing.
The single biggest barrier to adopting the latest technologies for small operators has always been cost but with Cloud technology it has at last become possible for growing businesses to get top class fully integrated business systems that will cope with anything from customer relationship management to procurement, accounting and HR.
Cloud solutions also provide scalability so your solution grows as your business does. All you need is an internet connection, everything else is taken care of including support, infrastructure, security and upgrades.
So there really is no need for a team of programmers or space for racks of servers, just a couple of friendly helpful people to do the initial implementation and then you’re on your way - upwards to the next level. It really is worth considering a move to the cloud.
About the author...
Caroline Atkinson is Director of Business Development at In Cloud Solutions – one of the sponsors of the event partners at Exchange 2012. For more information on how SAP ByDesign can help your business, please visit http://incloudsolutions.co.uk/
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