SMEs and Cloud Computing

Manila Bulletin, April 13, 2015 | Go to article overview

SMEs and Cloud Computing


There has been modest to significant progress in the implementation of the four pillars of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) namely, a single market and production base, a competitive economic region, equitable economic development, and integration with the global economy.

As the AEC comes into full gear, there will come greater threats as well as opportunities for the SME sector. Threats will come in the form of new competitors from the region while challenges in access to finance, finding new revenue streams, and access to a bigger market, and the need to scale operations and become more efficient remain to be fully addressed.

One issue that needs to be addressed is access to technology. Most SMEs have poor or low level on the use of technologies to enhance market presence, increase productivity, improve quality and reduce wastage. These stem from lack of funds for R&D, insufficient information, lack capability to evaluate alternative technologies, and lack of technical know-how on shifting to more advanced technologies.

While the vast majority of the ICT spend is on traditional communications services such as mobile voice, fixed-line and broadband, we are seeing tremendous growth in cloud computing adoption.In its simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive or the company's dedicated server.

Some common cloud services many SMEs use are the likes of Google Apps and Microsoft O365 for email and other productivity applications which are classified as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Another cloud computing application that is witnessing growth among SMEs is infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) which consists of a service or set of services i.e. storage capacity and processor power that are purchased by a business or organization and delivered via the Internet by a third-party provider, in which case referred to as public cloud.

It is an opportune time that the Asian Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) has recently released its landmark study on the SMEs adoption drivers and challenges. The report highlights that "cloud computing has the potential to be the 'great leveller' for both SMEs and developing economies. …

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