Article | Performance & Productivity
How Software as a Service can boost your business: a 101 for Small Businesses
As we look towards 2021 and beyond, here’s a quick primer on the benefits of cloud computing and why it’s so relevant for SMBs.
FROM THEORY TO UBIQUITY
In today’s increasingly complex business landscape, small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) and their owners are handling a multitude of daily priorities and demands. What is consistent however, is that regardless of size, the cloud has become a staple solution in helping businesses navigate the different needs of their employees and customers.
Watching the cloud’s rise to ascendancy over the past decade has been extraordinary. What started as a theoretical way of providing on-demand IT solutions is now a practical reality for both large, medium and small enterprises alike.
According to a study by ComScore and Microsoft, 78% of SMBs would adapt some form of cloud computing by 2020, following COVID and the shift to working from home, you can anticipate this figure to be higher.
WHAT IS SAAS AND ITS BENEFITS?
While most business owners and decision makers may have heard of the cloud, they may not be aware of SaaS – Software as a Service. Essentially, SaaS is a subset of cloud computing, it is the process that allows users to connect to and use cloud-based apps over the Internet. Common examples are email, calendar and office tools – like Microsoft Office 365.
The magic of SaaS is because it is hosted on the cloud, businesses using SaaS are spared the headache of managing the infrastructure themselves. This instead is managed by their service provider, and with the appropriate service agreement, the service provider takes on the responsibility of ensuring software availability and security. This is especially important for SMBs who need to optimize their budgets and resources – SaaS allows SMBs to get up and running quickly with an app, at a minimal cost.
SUPPORT FOR SMBS WHERE IT COUNTS
For businesses of all sizes, cloud technology provides them with the ability to offer users
infinite resources that can be turned on and off as required. This differs from the more traditional technology purchasing model, where a business must purchase an asset at a fixed price that performs to a set capacity.
Over the past decade, the cloud has evolved the capability for small and medium sized enterprises to process massive amounts of information. Despite the ease of the cloud, this can be difficult to manage. For example, a medium sized business, where it is typically staffed with one
IT manager looking after several employees. With this many users, this can mean numerous devices, email accounts and saved data – all of which need to be managed.
Many SMBs work with Managed Solutions Providers (MSP), where they can outsource their cloud management to a third party. This allows for a company’s IT team to have extra support in managing their data. It also helps to streamline the use of digital resources, monitor security troubleshoot critical errors, and stay on top of billing and finances.
GETTING AN EDGE FROM CLOUD COMPUTING
There are many benefits the cloud can offer SMBs:
Increased productivity and staff satisfaction: Once a unique user have been created on the cloud network, the employee can access the cloud using multiple device platforms and locations like mobile phones, laptops and tablets. As seen with COVID-19 and the shift to working from home, cloud technology has allowed for easy remote and flexible working, a benefit that many will take advantage of after the pandemic is over.
Enhanced collaboration: The cloud has allowed for a physically dispersed workforce to work more collaboratively and seamlessly. When data is housed over the cloud network, each employee can take over the task, right from where the preceding employee left it.
Improved security: A cloud solution also offers improved security capabilities as data is typically maintained at a central location rather than dispersed across many devices.
Cost reduction and flexibility: Moving to cloud computing will often reduce the cost of managing and maintaining an SMB’s IT systems. Rather than purchasing expensive systems and equipment for their business, an SMB can reduce costs by using the resources of their cloud computing service provider.
Increased productivity, improved collaboration, and enhanced security—real value, and real services, delivered in real time. This is what Lenovo Managed Services is here to provide. If you need a managed service that offers flexible and scalable options, a simple management tool and global support with no upfront commitment, contact your Lenovo sales rep, or complete this form with your details and we will be in touch.