The age of cloud technology continues to be increasingly beneficial to small and midsize businesses. Information technology has reduced the cost and stress of managing IT hardware, software and support and made it more convenient for business owners. Three leading technologies continue to prove usefulness in business growth: virtualization, cloud computing and BYOD (bring your own device).
Virtualization was originally slow and expensive. As more virtualization companies pop up, the costs are reduced and the benefits are passed on to small and midsize business owners. In 2013, it’s estimated that 87% of midsize businesses and 60% of small businesses will be virtualized. Virtualization is probably the slowest to become adopted, because it’s generally misunderstood by business owners. Virtualization lets you run several machines on one physical machine. The cost-savings are astronomical for companies that depend on several servers to run business projects. Not only is it more affordable, but virtualization lets you support , develop and test software for virtually any operating system and platform.
The “as-a-service” industry continues to offer software, hardware and platforms to businesses that can’t afford to buy expensive product and host it in-house. Cloud computing is mostly beneficial to small businesses, because all standard requirements can be hosted and executed by the cloud host.
74% of small businesses are expected to house most hardware and software in the cloud while 60% of midsize businesses are expected to use cloud computing. The smaller rise in midsize businesses probably comes from the amount of proprietary, internal software that most midsize businesses build. Most midsize businesses have the funds for internal support, and proprietary software needs private support in case of emergencies. However, for a small business owner, the software-as-a-service and hardware-as-a-service take away much of the hassle when running internal applications.
The bring-your-own-device movement is still rapidly growing. It hasn’t been adopted as quickly, but as more users depend on smartphones and tablets, BYOD has become standard practice in most businesses. 69% of small businesses will offer BYOD in 2013, and 53% of midsize businesses will offer BYOD. With BYOD, companies must create some kind of policy, and the increase in smartphone and tablet viruses are also a growing concern.
The cloud offers benefits that reduce costs and help a business grow instead of drain revenue due to high information technology costs. Look into cloud computing, virtualization and BYOD to keep up with competitors that use these technologies to keep a competitive edge. As your business grows, you can maintain a fast, productive IT environment without the expensive maintenance and support.
Wand more about tech for small businesses vs. medium-sized businesses? Check out our infographic Modern IT: Small Vs. Medium Businesses.