The adoption of cloud computing has accelerated at a meteoric pace both globally and in Singapore, shaping the way business is being conducted. By studying this megatrend, SMEs can gain valuable insights into how adapting to this technology can transform their business operations, stakeholder relationships and more.
Here’s a summary of the benefits of cloud computing and how it can help Singapore-based SMEs.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Put simply, cloud computing is a way for people to store and access data and programs over the internet using any device including mobile devices.
First, files are uploaded via the internet to a cloud service. Individuals and companies can then access the files on the go from their phone, tablet or computer whenever they are connected to the internet.
Different Clouds for Different Purposes
There are several different types of clouds. The most commonly used cloud is the public cloud, which facilitates a large, unrestricted universe of users. However, businesses requiring an internal model (say, a dedicated one for only their employees) often use a private cloud.
A third option exists, called a hybrid cloud. As its name suggests, the hybrid cloud consists of both public and private models. In a hybrid cloud environment, the enterprise uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud and third-party public cloud services.
A Global Phenomenon
Cloud computing has developed leaps and bounds globally, particularly over the last decade.
According to Forbes, Centaur Partners forecasts that the market will grow from US$13.5 billion in 2011 to a massive US$32.8 billion in 2016 based on its analysis of software as a service (SaaS) and cloud-based business application services revenue.
Meanwhile, Cisco predicts that while data center workloads will more than double (2.5-fold) globally from 2014 to 2019, cloud workloads will more than triple (3.3-fold) over the same period.
The Increased Demand for Cloud Computing in Singapore
In Singapore, businesses and the government alike have developed an increased appetite for cloud computing.
According to Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore’s (IDA) 2015 edition of Cloud Computing in Singapore, Singapore continues to lead the way in Southeast Asia in cloud adoption and maturity. It also finds that the demand for cloud services is robust in the country, with cloud spending among enterprises expected to jump to S$920 million (US$646 million) by 2018 from S$512 million in 2013.
IDA executive deputy chairman Steve Leonard says: “Demand for cloud services in Singapore remains strong, leading to an increase in CSPs (cloud service providers) to support this demand. A CSP Registry was thus conceived to engender trust through transparency for the benefit of cloud adopters by making available online information about CSPs.”
Singapore has attracted major CSPs to establish cloud data centers here including Amazon, Fujitsu and IBM.
How Can Cloud Computing Help Your SME?
Cloud computing holds many advantages for businesses regardless of size. These include:
- Increased flexibility and accessibility: Cloud computing equips your staff with the resources to work offsite, from home or outside regular business hours. This adds flexibility to your business structure and allows you to globalize your workforce cheaply. As an added bonus, increased mobility has been proven to make employees happier.
- Scalability and streamlined processes: You can achieve increased productivity with fewer people, as cloud computing often eliminates the need for manual processes. For example, with a cloud accounting software such as QuickBooks Online, all transaction records can be easily tracked and viewed from any device, improving functions such as invoicing.
- Cost effectiveness: Reduce your spending on everything from technology costs (such as computer equipment and software licenses) to operational expenses (such as office space and equipment) and manpower. This saves you money in the long term and greatly improves your financial management. Also, you can claim PIC benefits if the cloud software you are using is IRAS-approved.
With cloud computing changing the way people do business, it pays to find out if cloud computing can work for you. To learn more about how it can help your SME, visit our blog.