With the introduction of the internet of things (IoT), mobile applications, and Cloud computing, there have been massive spikes in the volumes of data generated by organizations.
In addition to massive spikes in data volume, the nature of data storage and even data, itself, are in the process of transformation. Traditional storage systems are not designed to handle the demands of data-intensive workloads, like big data analytics and cognitive computing.
These modern workloads have created a space for new business models, products, and technologies.
Small and Mid-sized Businesses (SMBs) are eager to adopt these new solutions. According to an SMB Group survey, 72% of SMB decision-makers believe technology can help them make significant improvements to operations and/or business outcomes. It's not just talk, either. More than half (53%) plan to increase their investments in technology solutions.
Cloud: The Backbone of SMB Tech Innovation
This model is very useful for SMBs since they often lack the internal staff and resources to keep up with technological change. In increasing numbers, SMB decision-makers are turning to hyper scale Cloud providers to supply, maintain, and manage their IT environments, including infrastructure and applications. These extremely large Cloud companies aren't the only, or best option available. More and more local and regional Cloud providers are building Cloud offerings, and are able to provide a much higher level of hands-on support for their customers.
Through Cloud services, SMB owners are effectively freed from concern about technology so they can focus on their primary objective, their business. Here are 3 ways that Cloud services providers help SMBs manage their data growth.
Traditionally, businesses purchased and supported their own internal IT environments. As technological advancement picks up speed, many SMBs are finding the utility-style model of Cloud services is a much better fit for their needs than traditional storage solutions.
SMBs can purchase their IT environments, including infrastructure and applications, as a service rather than a tangible good. This can be a smart financial move, as all expenses would be entered as monthly operating expenses rather than capital expenditures. Services can be scaled up or down as needed, so organizations can avoid expensive overprovisioning.
Another area of technological difficulty for many small businesses is IT environment management. Applications and hardware require monitoring for security breaches and timely application of patches and updates.
The stakes are even higher for SMBs in industries with strict data privacy requirements, like retail, financial, or health care. Cloud services providers can also help these businesses meet their compliance needs.
For SMBs that are struggling to find and hire IT talent, Cloud providers offer an affordable solution. The provider monitors security and manages the organization's IT environment, including performing patches and updates.
IT environments require ongoing maintenance, monitoring of equipment life cycles, contract management, and equipment repair and replacement. If an SMB's entire IT environment resides in the Cloud, the Cloud provider is responsible for the maintenance of the Cloud environment. Therefore, concerns like contract and hardware maintenance are shifted to the Cloud service provider.
The SMB migration to the Cloud shows no signs of abating. Gartner predicts that Cloud spending will increase at rate of 18.5% in 2017 to reach a total of $260 billion worldwide.
It is easy to see why the Cloud services market is growing at this rate. It offers SMBs an affordable way to keep pace with technological change and meet or exceed the expectations of their customers.