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Added value for the mid-size sector through cloud computing

For most mid-size businesses, the topic of digitisation is regularly on the agenda. In most cases, this involves digitally optimising individual business processes on a step-by-step basis.

To this end, more and more businesses have been taking advantage of cloud computing – by outsourcing some of their data storage, purchasing additional processing power, docking tailored application software from the cloud in a flexible and needs-based manner as software as a service (SaaS), or by offering their own services as cloud services.

These new technological possibilities aid mid-size companies in quickly reacting to evolving situations such as new customer requirements or market conditions. Cloud computing offers companies the opportunity to remain competitive by allowing them to flexibly react to evolving markets, provide better customer services, offer new services and deal in a more agile manner without having to make big investments or undergo long processes.

While large companies often need to tackle the issues related to group-wide cloud integration when implementing and using cloud services due to their complex IT structure, integration hurdles are generally more manageable for smaller businesses.

In this respect, cloud computing is being used more and more to adjust capacities in a short-term and needs-based manner, but also to expand IT structures beyond inherent company limits and thus share data, applications or services with customers, partners or suppliers. The fact that the technical requirements are often feasible even for small IT departments, has given rise to more and more multi-cloud solutions, whereby the different cloud services are integrated by respectively specialised providers.

Two aspects are important in this case: multi-cloud edge management is becoming increasingly significant. To allow everything to function smoothly, the management and integration of the cloud landscape is becoming a new and important task profile for IT departments.

The advantages for companies are obvious: if seasonal business booms during Easter, Christmas or the summer holidays, additional computing power can be acquired with just a few clicks. New storage can also be unlocked in just a few minutes if, for example, additional capacity is suddenly required for changing big data analytics.

This process is equally fast when downgrading resources once the computing power or storage is no longer required. There is therefore no pressure to keep so much power or storage at all times in order to cover all peaks. This saves investment costs and increases flexibility.

It is similarly easy to integrate new applications. If you wish to test a new ERP software, many providers now offer activation and configuration in no time at all, allowing you to gain experience and test several systems simultaneously.

Furthermore, instead of debating whether it makes sense to purchase expensive software for a single large project, you can often simply rent the cloud solution for a specific time period.

The new technical opportunities bring with them additional convenience: Thanks to container technology, system dropouts, long reboot sequences and similar issues are a thing of the past for many SaaS solutions. In addition, the standardised configuration means modifications, updates, the implementation of new services and scaling to a large number of connected subsidiaries or users is barely more complex than a standalone update.

“Mid-size companies in particular will gain a high level of flexibility in coming years owing to the multi cloud.”

However, for flexible cloud integration to function smoothly, data integration must become a key focus the respective IT department. This is now also possible for the technologically leading providers of standard software with configuration instead of programming, optionally as a cloud solution or on-premises, with intuitive and multi-device-enabled interfaces which can be operated just as easily from a smartphone as via an office computer, and who just need one or two days of training to ensure that a new system can be integrated in just a few steps without external service providers. Good, quickly accessible customer service is a great aid in all cases, but so are tutorials on YouTube which explain the processes step by step.

Mid-size companies in particular will gain a high level of flexibility in coming years owing to the multi cloud. This is advantageous for both the optimisation of processes as well as the opportunity to react to customer needs at short notice. Cloud computing thus creates the best conditions for further optimisation of business processes and for the agile improvement of the competitive position of mid-size companies.