Written by Will Aitkenhead
Posted on 06/08/2015

Three simple ways SMEs can use cloud technology to improve productivity

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Cloud computing is alive and thriving, offering SMEs the ability to save time and money as they grow their business. As many SMEs are innovators in their industry, alongside start-ups, you can stay ahead of the curve by adopting cloud technology to boost productivity and output levels.

Many SMEs now understand the need to employ the technology in order to improve their business model, but the problem lies in the how – with no clear structure to follow. There’s no right or wrong answer, but as the Singapore government has recently shown with its big push to improve SME productivity, the cloud is the way forward.

Overcast conditions provide productivity boost

It’s not often that we embrace the clouds during the summer, but this is different. Cloud technology is constantly covering more and more business functions, from content to communications, data management and analytics, you’ll find plenty of tangible benefits by shifting your focus to the cloud.

In terms of resources, it will mean you don’t have to maintain your own software, servers and other tech infrastructures, allowing you to create more time within your organisation. The top management figures inside your SME will also have improved access to key data, allowing you to make better, more informed decisions while the supply chain can be streamlined with superior internal and external communication.

Assess first, and then act

According to a recent study of Tata Communications IT employees, the most valued cloud computing benefit is cost reduction and increased productivity. While this might be true, it’s important to realise that technology alone won’t suddenly generate gains and savings. You need to work out what is best for your SME before jumping in.

Once you have made the initial assessment you can select the digital technology that will work best for you. Up in the cloud you no longer have to pay for large enterprise systems and a team to manage the organisation; you can choose, use and pay for everything over the internet in a way that works best for you.

Lead from the front

Change in SMEs normally comes from the business owner or CEO, and it is your responsibility to drive the cloud revolution within your own working environment. By implementing a strong digital strategy and execution framework you will give the cloud technology the best chance to influence the bottom line of your SME as well as providing the flexibility to adjust and adapt when required.

In Singapore there are plans to turn the country into a ‘smart nation’ and McKinsey has named cloud as one of the five most disruptive technologies available, offering the chance for Southeast Asia to produce between $220 billion and $625 billion in annual economic turnover by 2030.

Wherever you are based, now is the time to invest in cloud technology. You can find several part and full-funding grants for SMEs that will help you to grow and save money while the nature of SMEs places them in a better place to take advantage due to the agile nature of their business plans compared to larger organisations.

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