Cloud is no longer a trendy, out of this world intangible, it is an essential future business strategy for all businesses, not least SMEs.  

An increasing number of SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) around the world areusing cloud services as the key enabler for digital transformation. Cloud has rapidly become akey business agenda item as more and more businesses of all sizes are transitioning from a slowly, slowly approach to comprehensive, end-to-end digital transformation, with cloud the driver. Many SMEs have been slower to realise these benefits, now is the time for these SMEs to invest in cloud services. The businesses that will be successful in the future will be those that navigate their adoptions quickly, make the right choices from the start and engage with the appropriate partners, both cloud providers and managed service providers to add to their owndiffering IT functions.

Gartner predicts the rate of cloud adoption spending will increase to around $482 billion by the end of 2022. What’s more, the rapid growth of the cloud computing ecosystem means many experts predict the industry will be worth around $947.3 billion by 2026

Small and Medium Enterprises looking at the cloud for desktops and other services would be well advised to start by judging how different cloud providers approach their service offerings. By this I mean, how easy is it to access that support, what the support experience is going tolook like in practice and how quickly you can access support should it be needed. Most cloud providers rely on self-service for support, so finding a provider that offers direct contact and human interaction is a great place to begin with. Be mindful of this and it will be clear which providers offer a service more suited to you than their competitors. For most businesses, Public Cloud providers or Hyperscalers, such as AWS and Azure have minimal support options that will suit SMEs, particularly if they do not have their own IT function to support it themselves.

Support is key to any business migrating to the cloud, there will be some SMEs with the resources to support their own cloud migration and provide ongoing support but on the whole, businesses should ensure that the provider they choose offers a good level of support with the ability to have issues resolved with in person communication. To that end, Public Cloud Providers may not be the best fit, as they do not offer the levels of support as a you may get with a hosted private cloud solution. These solutions tend offer a managed service option including ongoing support.

At IMSCAD Cloud, we offer private cloud desktop solutions as well as being Azure and AWS partners, so we understand the complexities of these desktops solutions and what is needed for companies in different industry verticals to make these a success. My advice to any company starting their cloud journey, is to seek out the advice of and partner with, a business specialising in the cloud services that they are looking to adopt.

Cloud Computing has been a great leveller, meaning scalable and cost-effective infrastructure is within the reach of not only the biggest enterprises but SMEs, start-ups and even oneman bands.

The costs associated with cloud computing do vary greatly, this depends largely on the type of cloud services differing businesses in varying industries require. Cloud storage and file-sharing services such as Dropbox, start with free accounts, add advanced features to this and they start at $20 per user, per month. Cloud backup for data and recovery services can cost $50 per month. Cloud computing service costs vary depending on several factors, such as the number of users you have, how many features and tools you need, and how much support is or isn’t offered. All of these factors need to be taken into account when choosing a provider.

So, when push comes to shove, what is the right blend of cost against functionality, security, compliance and scalability? There is no silver bullet here, each and every business will have differing priorities when it comes to their cloud adoption and what their ongoing solutionshould look like. It boils down to what is right for each individual case, including a business’s workloads and their application mix. Certain businesses will attach more value to security and compliance as they may work with government agencies or defense contractors, others will focus on cost, as they put more importance on value.

The importance of the cloud cannot be overstated, and cloud services will only become more important for all businesses as we move into the digital future, the agility and flexibility that cloud technologies offer, enables new ways of working, operating, and carrying out business for all.

Now, more than ever, cloud computing is vital to helping businesses deliver on and realise the potential of digital transformation for remote and hybrid work and much more. The importance of partnering with the right partner to not only deploy but also support your solution cannot be overstated, by doing so you can ensure your cloud migration runs smoothly from end to end and continues to perform. Migrating to the cloud is complicated and costs can escalate, working with an experienced partner can save you the complications of poor performance, down time and spiraling costs.

Author: Charlie Dawson, Marketing and Channel Director, IMSCAD Global & IMSCAD Cloud