As cloud computing continues to take the IT business landscape by storm, the way SMBs consume technology and how they compete and operate in the global market will change, according to Jason Bystrak Ingram Micro Cloud executive director the Americas.
Currently, SMBs are ‘all-in’ when it comes to moving their productivity suites, such as email, to the cloud. The next wave of mid-market adopters, however, will leverage cloud computing for their collaboration needs, such as file sharing and unified communications, Bystrak says.
Also, SMBs are spending much less on traditional on-premises infrastructure and are much more nimble in their move to the cloud, he says. Furthermore, with the benefits of the cloud more attractive than ever, many start-ups are electing to avoid investing capital in on-premises infrastructure altogether, triggering a spike in born-in-the-cloud businesses that will surely pick up speed in 2016, he says.
However, SMBs aren't without concerns, with security and support being top challenges.
Bystrak says, “Although there has been a steady growth of cloud technologies in the middle market, it goes without saying security concerns will remain one of the biggest barriers in SMB cloud adoption.
“Luckily, enterprise-class solutions can now be implemented within public cloud environments, alleviating the headaches in security management and increasing comfort levels for SMBs making the switch to cloud.
“I also see support as a big challenge SMBs face during their cloud transition since many don’t always understand the process to manage and fix their technology investments,” he says.
In order to maximise revenue and growth opportunities in the cloud, Bystrak says SMBs will need better guidance and support from their vendor partners and the channel.
He says the channel needs to provide the technical support, as well as professional services, to manage processes like migration and support for cloud environments.
There also needs to be continued cloud-based education and training to build greater awareness of the cloud’s benefits and business use cases, according to Bystrak.