Intelligent Issue 01 | Page 30



Niclas Sanfridsson , CEO at Colt DCS

Pay-as-you-go services and cloud business applications mean companies can remain lean and nimble , allowing them to thrive amidst any fluctuations . The ability to react and meet demand when it arrives will be crucial for SMEs , as it will offer well-needed buoyancy when demand suddenly dips due to restrictions . Businesses that maintain a defensive approach will miss out on these opportunities , ultimately stifling their viability through the tough times .
How are SMEs being held back by rigid and conservative business models ?
An advantage of being an SME is that you can adapt to changes more easily . Previously , this has resulted in these businesses being at the forefront of innovations in the market . But with 58 % of SMEs having not yet adopted cloud , it seems this important part of our economy may be falling behind . The alternatives to innovative solutions are rigid , conservative infrastructures . While these alternatives can seem like the most risk adverse option , they in fact pose a whole other risk of their own – stifled growth . SMEs simply cannot afford to miss out on potential opportunities , just because they were committed to rigid solutions and infrastructures that can ’ t scale and support business growth – they need to be agile and open to opportunities as and when they arrive .
SMEs need to prepare themselves for unexpected disruptions or opportunities . Not having the right capabilities available could mean having to go through the costly and time-consuming process of modifying infrastructures as and when changes happen – an inefficient and costly process that SMEs cannot afford to go through in this climate .
The cautious approach taken by many SMEs towards cloud adoption will only impede business growth and limit agility , which will be a vital trait in any business if they are to survive in a post-COVID economy .
How important is scalability for SMEs and how can they create corporate growth strategies that support this ?
Scalability is particularly essential to SMEs . While larger companies are often able to weather a storm , smaller businesses can be rocked if unable to quickly scale up or down in response to market changes .
Often , when people talk about scalability , they focus on growth and expansion . The opportunity to scale down when possible is often overlooked . For businesses that are forced to close or limit activity as a result of the new lockdown measures , the option to scale down can be invaluable in helping them keep afloat .
When scalability is effectively achieved , SMEs can operate like an elastic band , expanding or retracting when necessary and at a moment ’ s notice . For example , take a retailer over a peak sale season such as Christmas , where demand will spike hugely . Retailers will have to scale up their operations in order to cope with the demand and fulfil orders . Meanwhile , when demand comes down in January , it will be beneficial for retailers to scale down and reduce costs until demand rises again .
A large part of flexibility depends on the organisation ’ s back end operations – is your IT infrastructure built to support your business as it scales up and down ? In an age where some applications that are here today could be gone tomorrow , while others will proliferate and require room to grow in the data centre and across geographies , flexibility is increasingly important .
As well as scalability , streamlining outgoings and operational costs are also a top priority for SMEs when creating corporate growth strategies . Cloud data centres offer a combined solution , helping to achieve cost-effective scalability . Costs are predictable and outgoings will never be more than necessary because customers only pay for what they need , as they need it . This eliminates the common operational dilemma of trading scalability for cost effectiveness , which SMEs may face if they invest in more rigid growth strategies .
Why is cloud considered a gamechanger for SMEs and how can they build this into their strategies ?
In many ways , SMEs stand to gain the most from cloud solutions . Cloud is the only data storage option that gives businesses the
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