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IT Conversations: Prospects for Cloud Business in SMEs

The use of cloud computing services It grew slightly (1.1 points) among micro-companies in 2019, with file storage being the cloud computing service most contracted by micro-companies (74.2%), according to data from ONTSI (Red.es). Despite years of talking about the cloud benefits, penetration into SMEs has been too slow, until the pandemic started. Teleworking and the need to continue working to survive led small and medium-sized companies to look for tools with which they could work, easily and efficiently, remotely.

Due to this economic and labor «tsunami», where cloud solutions have played a fundamental role, from MuyPymes and MuyCanal we have held the webinar “The perspectives of the cloud business in SMEs”, in which the following speakers have participated:

Among the points discussed, the spokespersons spoke about the current status or penetration of cloud computing in SMEs; what are the challenges and opportunities for companies and partners in this market; some of the solutions and services in the cloud available to the business and the advice to bring these tools closer to small and medium-sized companies, as well as to partners. There has also been talk of security and the round trip involved in using the cloud, among other issues. If you want to see the event delayed you can do it here.

The relationship of today’s SME with the cloud

The importance The cloud for small businesses has been seen more clearly with the emergence of the pandemic and telecommuting. The SMEs that were more digitized understood perfectly that a remote work model was perfectly feasible and safe, but what happened to the majority of them, who barely used technology? some died and others tried desperately to install systems that would help them work in a way they previously only contemplated.

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In our webinar, the speakers acknowledge that their plans were that the growth of the cloud in these businesses would be seen in four or five years, but everything that happened has done these results occur in one. This technology has not only allowed economic activities to be followed while at home, but has also revealed one of its great benefits: the scalability.

With cloud tools, a company can dedicate itself to what it is interested in: growing its business, leaving the part technical experts. However, there is not a total disconnection of the team with the technology, the training and continuous learning of all the members is key for the correct gearing of the business, especially in terms of security.

The panelists have agreed that the hybrid model is the most used by Spanish SMEs, putting certain services in the public cloud and leaving other more critical services “at home”, such as those related to data. Another interesting piece of information from the webinar is that the microservices in the cloud that offer, above all, connection and security, so that it gives an ideal solution to remote workers, another of the trends that we are seeing the most in the Spanish and global market.

When a company embarks on the path to the cloud, it must know that it can always «return«. You may not be interested in the cost, you may have problems, the high latency, or it may just not be what you expected. This is part of its appeal, because at any time you can return to the on premise, since there has been no high initial investment. Hence, as we have mentioned before, what is being seen the most is the hybrid and multicloud environment.

For all this to work and go further, our panelists have highlighted the importance of breaking down barriers, enable growth, speak the language of SMEs, fair competition and ensure opportunities for all. This with respect to the legislation and the “rules of the game” of the market, but it is also necessary to raise awareness about the security, one of the lost subjects of our SMEs that, with the cloud, acquires greater importance.

Not all cloud services will need the same security, nor will all environments, but both concepts (cloud-security) must go hand in hand. And it is not enough with a antivirus, we must ensure both service and communication, analyzing the environment well and establishing a strategy. Again, we are talking about a job that is under the responsibility of the specialized partner. The small entrepreneur is not interested in how a technology works, but simply that it works and that he be able to remain busy doing what he does best: growing his business.

Main conclusions

Carlos Mateo, from AES: «The cloud is essential for the digitization of the economy, it also serves as a bridge with other technologies. It is necessary to democratize it to facilitate access to it for SMEs and AA.PP. , as it provides a lot of scalability and saves them the initial investment, in case of companies that are starting ”.

Pedro Barranquero, from QNAP: «It is important for SMEs to start testing the cloud, for example by installing a small server. From there they will see the opportunities they offer and how well your business can work: digitization, customer visualization, etc. Once this is done, more knowledge and training is necessary, this is essential to evolve. You have to do tests, take risks, see new services … little by little they will see that it is something simple and that it will help their business.

José María Prian, from LCRcom: “I advise end customers to lean on their partners on their journey to the cloud. In Spain, the channel is very important because it is highly trained and specialized. If an SME wants to digitize, it should also approach a partner, tell them their needs, where they are going … so that they can show them a strategy. It is also important that employees are trained in digital skills, since the offer is going to be more and more extensive and competitive ”.

Jacobo Sánchez, from Tech Data: “My advice is that you don’t try to migrate everything you have on premise to the cloud. Going to the cloud implies a change in culture, company and business, since it can improve many aspects: inclusion, environment, economy … You can start by hiring people in unpopulated areas, this will greatly reduce your salary costs, beyond hiring a service or virtual machine. This is great, but the first thing they need is to rely on an expert partner, who talks about business, and think that this takes time and that it will change the DNA of SMEs, modernizing themselves. It is also very useful to learn from startups, they are people who have been working in the cloud for years … let’s consider this journey as a drastic change ».

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