Operations Management Articles

Best Small Business Cloud Computing Trends

by Christophe Primault
Published on 2 February 2012

This is the second part of a blog post about the best Cloud computing predictions related to small businesses.

In Part 1, we looked at the hot Cloud-based application categories that are likely to get the most tractions with small businesses

In this article, we focus on the most importnat underlying trends in small business cloud computing.

The right conditions are met for Cloud mainstream adoption - SMB-Group

The SMB-Group has identified several factors that have coalesced to create the right conditions for cloud computing's increased popularity:

  • Cloud computing providers have grown up. NetSuite was founded in 1998, and Salesforce.com was founded in 1999
  • Cloud vendors continue to address reliability, security and performance concerns with more redundant services and controls
  • Customers have also learned that they like many things about the cloud model. They like the responsibility being on a vendor 24/7 - and that it's easier to switch to another provider if their expectations aren't met.
  • Cloud is increasingly the critical enabler for both mobile and social solutions

Increasingly, small businesses that want to use technology to move their businesses ahead are looking at moving to the to the cloud

Cloud-based business apps are actually designed for businesses - gaebler.com

While the last generation of business software was created to optimize the back-office (i.e. making accounting easier and keeping up with tax rules), this year's crop of business software will focus on creating value for small businesses, connecting customers and suppliers in a network and making it easier for small business owners (not their accountant) to do business.

Additionally, Cloud based apps get easier to use each day and the best part is that as the development team makes a change, businesses immediately benefit.

A solution like BrightPearl is a great example of this new breed of cloud-based apps.

Mobile use extends beyond email to business applications - SMB-Group

In a research by the SMB-Group, small businesses indicated that they plan to significantly increase spending on mobile devices and services in the next 12 months, with the highest jump in the 5-to-49-employee size band. The study revealed that with mobile use of collaboration apps (email, calendar, etc.) now mainstream, small businesses are "mobilizing business".

Some of the strongest categories for small business current and planned mobile app use are mobile payments (52%), time management (59%), online field service (59%), and customer information management (69%). This rapid uptake will also include more vertical apps that are a perfect fit for industry-specific needs, especially given the choice of both smart phone and tablet form factors.

HTML5 is shifting how we look at apps and software - Small Business Trends

Right now, the browser is central to how we use web-based solutions, but as more users operate remotely and via mobile devices, there is solid evidence that the browser could go away, or at least become dramatically different from what we experience today.

This is not really a prediction, but HTML5 makes it possible to add functionality to the browsing experience. If Adobe's recent decision is any indication of the trend, they terminated their mobile Flash development work to migrate to HTML5. Apple and Steve Jobs have long refused to work with Adobe's Flash.

Many businesses will follow the federal agencies' "cloud first" policy - Cloud Business Review

US Government instructs Federal agencies to adopt "cloud-first" policy whenever possible - considering the best cloud solutions to cut the Gov't IT budget; it is a success. So, expect businesses to adopt the same "cloud-first" policy when considering new system purchases.

Cloud adoption is going global - Montclair Advisors

If the US is still leading the pack in terms of Cloud apps adoption, there is evidence that countries like the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia in Europe but also Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, China will continue to build on the Cloud market's growing global momentum.

If you are a small business you can use our free ressources to discover and compare online business software.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Seven Morris


Apps mentioned in this article