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Are Asian SMBs ready for the cloud?

Nurdianah Md Nur | Sept. 15, 2016
Some SMBs are still in the process of understanding how cloud will really help them, while others are held back by regulations, says Fuji Xerox's Leon O’ Reilly.

In some cases, SMBs may be held back by certain laws and regulations specific to their markets while others may need more time to gain trust in their service providers and greater confidence about the cloud's level of security and ease of integration with their current business systems. Yet others may hesitate because of uncertainties in the post-purchase experience including implementation, training, and support processes. Other deterrence could be the perceived costs of switching from existing technology infrastructure and a reluctance to establish new processes or ways of working.

To address these concerns, SMBs could seek the advice of reputable cloud service providers and gain a greater understanding of cloud solutions and services and the compelling benefits it offers.

Today, there are countless successful cloud implementations by early SMB cloud adapters. SMBs looking to kick-start their own cloud implementations can take a page from these early cloud adopters' books - and get inspiration from them.

Besides addressing the above concerns, how else should SMBs better prepare their business for the cloud?
SMBs should look for reliable partners and service providers, as well enhance their own understanding of cloud's offerings and benefits, and build a solid foundation of know-how about cloud.

It is also advisable for SMBs to start with trials of cloud solutions and services as proof-of-concept before making the decision to adopt the technologies for the entire business.

For cloud adoption to yield maximum benefits, it is also necessary for SMBs to shift their mindset from keeping business information exclusively in-house, to entrusting public caretakers of service providers.

In addition, SMBs can also find out if there is any government assistance that will further incentivise the adoption of cloud for their business. In Singapore for instance, the government announced in 2014 the allocation of S$500 million (over three years) to help SMBs increase their ICT (infocomm technology) adoption. This initiative allows SMBs to try out new technology that would enable them to respond to new consumer demands and implement new business models to drive new levels of growth.


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