Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past three decades, then you’ve used the Internet. You’re reading this on the Internet right now. Suffice to say, you know full well the capabilities of the internet. It’s the very tool that connects all of us, regardless of age, race, or gender. As we go deeper and deeper into the second millennia, we see more and more ways to utilize the Internet. And in ways that are previously unheard-of too, so much so that if you somehow travel back in time to the 50s or 60s, it’d be difficult to explain to the people living then. However, how does the internet factor into the more commerce-oriented side of the world? Quite a lot, as evidenced by the proliferation of software-as-a-service companies. But how do they achieve this, despite offering a rather intangible product?
Enter cloud computing. In simple terms, it’s the future. You use any computer (as long as it can go online) and utilize the vast processing power available only to supercomputers. You’re not limited to the software and data only available in your hardware, instead you use your hardware to access an immense library of information stored in the cloud or the Internet. We’ve been using the cloud for a few years now, without fully realizing it. YouTube, Google services, Netflix, Facebook, all of these popular applications are cloud-based business. And whether you accept it or not, cloud businesses are the future.
The Future Is Here, and There’s Evidence to Prove it
The startup businesses of the past decades are the mega-corporations of today. Companies like Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube are relatively young compared to almost-permanent fixtures like Colgate or Ford, and yet they’re often toe to toe in profits. Amazon reports a 33.5% increase in worldwide revenue growth, Netflix came in with USD 6.33 billion, and YouTube at USD 3.8 billion.
These numbers show an unfolding reality today: there is much to be made in cloud services. Despite initially being called a trend that will soon die off, the Internet is proving to be a powerhouse when in comes to business offerings. Traditional companies that are adopting an online service are steadily increasing, and to their benefit. Despite receiving decreased gross margins in May, Walmart is touted to become successful, thanks to its online shopping app.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) are becoming commonplace, as the aforementioned companies fall into this distribution model. If you use Netflix or Amazon, then you’re taking part in the growth of this new business model. Due to the cloud and the dominant presence of the internet, the average consumer can gain access to an extensive list of services and offerings. Thanks to SaaS marketing consultants that offer assistance to these kinds of businesses, SaaS’ market size is continuously growing, with projections of up to USD 307.3 billion by 2026. The future truly is here, and those who do not adapt will be left behind.
How SMEs Benefit
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that only giant businesses that carry millions of capital can benefit from this. Even small-to-medium enterprises can, and are benefiting from the prevalence of the cloud. There are many cloud services that offer streamlining business workflow. From scheduling systems to analytics, file storage to system automation, SaaS companies offer a wide variety of tools that SMEs can take advantage of to make their process smoother.
And even cloud-based SMEs are on the rise. As the internet allows the market to be much more open the ever before, outsourcing tasks to different countries with different specialties are all too common. This has resulted in a more decentralized format of work. Small software companies that have workers from different countries aren’t uncommon, as cloud-based meeting services are becoming accessible. Almost all forms of business process can be achieved on the cloud now, displaying the power of the cloud in a convincing fashion.
Looking to the Future
While it can be overwhelming to take everything at once, the very fact is that the cloud is here to stay. It provides a lot of value to both the consumers and the businesses, largely because of its flexibility and adaptability. This also means that competition will only increase, as businesses will be taking advantage of the power of the cloud to market and sell their services. It remains to be seen however if every company will successfully utilize it. Ultimately, the cloud is a tool and is entirely dependent on who is using it. Think of this as analysis for what may come in the future: understanding how the cloud works is to every business-minded persons’ benefit.