Move Over, Mid-Market Guys: Small Biz Wakes Up to Cloud File Benefits

Cloud file storage and cloud computing in general have so far attracted a large proportion of mid-market organizations. These enterprises were well-positioned to take advantage of the scalable, smart resources of the cloud to enhance their competitiveness with larger corporations. By comparison, Fortune 500 companies already had their own sizable in-house IT resources, while small businesses lacked the confidence or technical resources to use the cloud to the same advantage. But now recent statistics suggest that SMBs are embracing the concept of powerful cloud solutions being truly affordable and accessible to them. One of the key areas of interest to SMBs is online file-sharing and collaboration.

Diminutive but Increasingly Data-Driven

The information comes from the 2014 Small and Medium Business Routes to Market Study carried out by SMB Group. Small and medium businesses (under 1,000 employees) are seen as trending more and more towards knowledge working. Employees rely on the exchange of digital information to generate revenue for their company. From several points of view, including workflow efficiency, reliability of data access and mobile working, cloud file services providers bring SMBs an opportunity to work better, faster and more closely with their own customers’ requirements.

To the SMB Market via Consumer IT

Traditionally, IT vendors have often tried to satisfy the SMB market with scaled-down (or stripped-down) versions of their larger enterprise solutions. Results have been mixed. What works in the large corporate IT department doesn’t necessarily transfer well to the SMB environment. In smaller businesses IT experts may be rarer and managers more pragmatic about immediate advantages that will keep their company in operation today, rather than competitive in two years’ time. On the other hand, approaching the SMB market from the consumer IT perspective offers that important element of instant gratification, as the uptake of mobile computing has demonstrated.

Melding All that Mobile Activity into Something Efficient and Effective

SMBs appreciate the agility of mobile computing and the convenience of tablets and smartphones. Since workers discovered that their favorite consumer mobile devices could also be used for work, smaller enterprises have been persistently nudged into a mobile mode of working. But now it’s time for them to capitalize on the potential of all this mobile worker empowerment. Cloud file sharing and collaboration solutions can make employees more productive and more responsive, without labor-intensive, high investment onsite solutions.

It’s Not Rocket Science Either

Just as today’s mobile computing devices have made IT far more intuitive and accessible to users, cloud file storage, synchronization and collaboration solutions have also become highly user-friendly. SMBs that might have lacked technical resources before are now finding that they don’t even need them. Cloud services, like mobile apps, are typically user-centric solutions designed to make non-technical people rapidly and easily productive. If the web gave smaller enterprises the opportunity to compete with Fortune 500 though online sales, cloud file services are helping them to become just as profitable too. Who knows – in the near future, we might even see bigger corporations changing back into a collection of smaller enterprises in order to get the same advantages.