Cloud computing continues to take the IT business landscape by storm, and as 2016 rolls around, I see it playing a significant role in the way SMBs consume technology, as well as how they compete and operate in our evolving global market.
While SMBs are now “all-in” when it comes to moving their productivity suites, such as email, to the cloud, brace for the next wave of mid-market adopters who will leverage cloud computing for their collaboration needs, like file sharing and unified communications. Also, SMBs are spending much less on traditional on-premises infrastructure and are much more nimble in their move to the cloud. And 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.
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.
To maximize revenue and growth opportunities in the cloud, SMBs will need better guidance and support from their vendor partners and the channel. 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.
Though the IT environment is in a constant state of change, Ingram Micro can help simplify success in the cloud by providing direct access to a fully-automated Cloud Marketplace that delivers streamlined purchasing, provisioning, service management, and invoicing of multi-vendor offerings through a single online portal. We also reduce costs and fill the gaps in service delivery by offering our channel partners the professional and managed services to help with solution design, migration, and post-sales support.