Cloud for Small Businesses; a Match Made in Heaven
We believe in fueling small business success and have spent over three decades understanding the unique strengths and challenges faced by these businesses all over the world. Over this time we have realized that firstly it is important to appreciate and respect the tenacity of every small business owner, as it is a daunting task to grow and manage a business in today’s rapidly changing environment. Every small business struggles with lack of resources and time. There is a constant juggle between running the business and delivering the best products and services to their customers.
In India, the most common pain point that large technology players hear from small businesses revolves around saving time and money. A business owner wears multiple hats - managing operations, customers and employees. In the midst of all this, they tend to overlook a very important component, their finances. Financial management and financial health is crucial for any small business’ success. It has been observed that 1 in 3 small businesses fail in the first three years due to poor financial management.
Here is where cloud technology can make a big difference. Financial management solutions over cloud offer small businesses easy accounting done with speed and accuracy to get important insights that are relevant and engaging and improve cash flow, all while saving time. For small businesses this can prove invaluable as it helps make the business more productive, efficient, and grow at a rapid rate.
Efficiency is essential for the success of a small business. Financial management through cloud can simplify the most difficult of tasks, and more importantly, the cloud gives small business owners the luxury of connecting anywhere and anytime. Expense capture and invoices can be sent whilst on the road and customer service can be perfected while on the go. These opportunities are invaluable for a small business owner who is juggling many tasks.
Small businesses are the backbone of the Indian economy, contributing to 17 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). India is also presently going through a start-up resurgence; According to the Economic Survey 2015-16, the country has more than 19,000 technologyenabled startups. Of the 51 million small businesses, 40 percent, or 20 million, have access to digital infrastructure such as devices and connectivity. This is expected to rise to 90 percent by 2020.
Mobile is dramatically transforming the business and technology landscape in India with 956 million mobile phones, of which 168 million are smartphones and 2 million are tablets. The data around mobile usage and growth in India is astounding as 65 percent of total internet traffic comes via mobile phones (compared to 22 percent in the United States)
Most small businesses in India today are already leveraging mobile to manage their businesses and reach their customers. The potential of mobile is immense. Mobile technologies are emerging as a growth engine for small businesses with 25 percent of adopters seeing two times the revenue growth and up to eight times the number of jobs created, according a study by BCG.
Additionally, with the Government of India supporting the Startup India Initiative and Ease of Business in India improving, today the country has become a hot bed for innovation, entrepreneurship and foreign direct investment. The three key drivers that are pushing small businesses to go digital are:
Access to enabling infrastructure - adoption of smart devices in conjunction with enhancement in internet availability
Availability of various SMB relevant solutions and services
Affordable cloud enabled enterprise grade solutions such as Google Apps
A thriving mobile application eco-system – More than 9,000 Indian mobile application development companies Adoption of IT across customers and push from ecosystem stakeholders
More than 50,000 SMB sellers on boarded by the top three e-commerce players
The Government of India has an active Digital India campaign Cloud computing can prove commercially viable for many small businesses due to its flexibility and pay-as-you-go cost structure, making businesses nimble, quick and agile, and enabling them to conduct business faster and more efficiently. According to Zinnov, adoption of cloud technologies will drive the growth of the Indian domestic IT market, which will touch $67 billion by 2020. The Indian Government’s Digital India project will also be an exponential driver for massive growth in cloud adoption among small businesses. A study by IDC claims that small businesses using cloud computing are almost two times more likely to have over 10 percent revenue growth compared to similar sized companies in general.
Although there is still an astoundingly large number of small businesses that are yet to establish a solid digital presence, the hope is that they see just how valuable this can be for their growth. The country, with the support of the Government, is making large strides in this segment and the next few years look exciting and full of promise.