Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the growth engine of most modern economies. With South Africa's high unemployment rate and structural economic problems, SMEs really are the last hope for creating new jobs and growing a diversified and strong economy.
We need an educated, technologically aware SME community that embraces technology and uses it to benefit and grow their businesses.
In fact, technology-savvy SMEs tend to be far more effective companies and therefore grow revenue and create employment opportunities at a higher level than SMEs that don't adopt new technologies. This finding emerged from a study commissioned by Microsoft and undertaken by Boston Consulting Group in 2013 and Ipsos MORI in 2014.
The SME community in South Africa is responsible for 56% of employment. As such, it's critical that they adopt the technology that will enable them to survive and grow.
Cloud solutions are a key element in managing certain aspects of a growing business.
Cloud solutions are typically IT-related services that provide a desired functionality and can be subscribed to on a monthly basis. They are typically easy to set up, require no capital costs and can be accessed from any device. One can unsubscribe from a cloud solution at any point and move to a more effective one.
There are many different types of cloud solutions, sales and CRM, accounting, end point protection, systems management, online backup and many, many more.
SMEs cite cloud backup as the main benefit of cloud computing.
An interesting point in the study commissioned by Microsoft was that 75% of the SME companies surveyed cited cloud backup as the main benefit they received from cloud computing. In my opinion, these SMEs are all early adopters of cloud solutions who will move to further usage of the cloud.
The reason that these companies found cloud backup to be a major benefit of the cloud solutions era are easy to see:
Cloud backup requires very little management. Once set up and running, it continues to back up your data incrementally on a daily basis.
Cloud backup is automatically off-site.
Cloud backup is available to restore on any server located anywhere else.
Cloud backup is more secure than in-house backup, because the data is in all likelihood better encrypted in its transfer and storage than it would be with an on-premise solution.
If one is using a reputable cloud backup provider, the data is secured in a premium data centre with all the necessary redundancies built in.
The fact is, when an SME adopts helpful technology, it becomes a better company that's able to grow and expand. Using cloud backup is one such technology, as it ensures recoverability, business continuity and provides peace of mind.