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Building a winning cloud strategy for SMBs

In the past year, cloud spending by small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) shot up significantly, according to the annual Flexera State of the Cloud Report. As many as 53% of SMBs surveyed in the report are spending more than US$1.2-million annually on the cloud. That’s up from 38% in 2021.

Companies are rapidly adopting cloud as they realize its enormous potential to create new opportunities. For SMBs, the question to ask is how the cloud can help them grow revenue, reduce long-term IT costs, attract new customers, and improve business processes and security.

“SMBs need access to scalable infrastructure and capabilities available as services in order to benefit from the cloud,” says Oliver Niemandt, GM of sales at Tarsus On Demand. “Through the cloud, computing resources are available to them when needed, and they pay for their use in much the same way as one pays for utilities. As a result, they can work smarter by having access to flexible, cost-effective technology and information, where the intent is to solve the business need at hand. This can be done by making it more available to SMBs, by SMBs, and not making them go through the laborious process of engaging with large enterprises.”

Before making the move to the cloud, SMB owners should ask three key questions:

1. What is the cloud going to enable the business to do that it cannot do right now?

It’s about identifying what part of the business will be improved by cloud technology. There is a wide range of technologies available through three basic cloud services:

IaaS, or infrastructure as a service, builds the infrastructure of a cloud-based technology. PaaS, or platform as a service, helps developers build custom apps via an API that can be delivered over the cloud. SaaS, or software as a service, is cloud-based software companies can sell and use.

By using cloud services, SMBs can quickly scale both infrastructure and software as needed. They can also lower costs as they don’t need to pay for on-premises software licences, or for IT employees to do installations and upgrades. Because there are so many services available, there is no need to build from scratch and SMBs can choose from those that will serve their business needs best.

2. What on-premises technology do we have that we no longer want to own?

Should the SMB owner prefer to move to a utility model, cloud is the obvious choice. Cloud-based technology is capex-free. There’s no longer an upfront investment for hardware or ongoing costs for licences and updates.

All maintenance and support sit with the cloud supplier who offers customer support, ongoing maintenance and regular software updates.

3. Which services are available in the cloud that can be applied in the business?

There are hundreds of SaaS-based services for SMBs which generally cater for an entire business environment, spanning: CRM, ERP and e-mail, to name a few. Many of these are pre-developed services that can simply be fetched from the cloud and paid for on a consumption or subscription basis from managed services providers (MSPs). The relationship between an SMB and the MSP providing and supporting the cloud solution is critically important as they provide advice and business-critical reliable services on a managed basis. Trust is key as the SMB is handing over the core of its business to the provider.

Choosing the right provider

Some ISVs are proficient at providing highly specialised cloud solutions for niche demands, while others have developed solutions for large sections of the market, such as payroll and HR. “The benefits for SMBs who access our ecosystem of cloud providers is that they know they are choosing a tried and tested Tarsus On Demand partner that is experienced at solving business problems rather than technology troubles and can help them to develop a winning cloud strategy,” says Niemandt.

About Tarsus On Demand

Tarsus On Demand, a division of Tarsus Technology Group, enables managed service providers, independent software vendors and technology resellers to smoothly transition their businesses to the cloud and to software as a service. The dynamic team works closely with channel partners to help their customers architect and deploy cloud solutions that support growth, efficiency, agility and innovation.

Tarsus On Demand offers channel partners access to aggregated offerings from leading cloud service providers as well as to tools that enable them to provide customers with seamless access to cloud products and services. Partners can accelerate their move to the cloud by tapping into the company’s established skills base and direct vendor relationships.

Recognized As the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) of the Year award winner for four years in a row (2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021), Tarsus On Demand has also won several industry awards including the Microsoft Partner of the Year 2021, Acronis Cyberfit distribution of the year 2021, Mimecast Technical Excellence Partner of the Year 2022 and Mimecast Managed Services Partner of the Year 2021. This has allowed Tarsus On Demand to established itself as a leading cloud enablement partner for resellers looking to provide clients with business solutions.

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