Since the advent of the Internet, the entire world has shaped up into a giant marketplace. Now, a customer situated in the US can buy a product manufactured in Japan. The globalization of the market has changed the entire business scenario.
It has given small businesses some breathing space to contemplate their place in the market. They now have the opportunity to compete with the industry giants as they have more options for customer outreach. With numerous social media platforms at their service, they can reach a large pool of potential customers, now more than ever.
However, customer outreach is one part of the global business strategy. An essential aspect of a successful global business is offering customers optimum services. Here is where cloud technology comes into the picture.
The flexible cloud environment allows small businesses to stand their ground in this highly competitive market. It can offer the same high-end infrastructure to small businesses as any other conglomerate in the world. According to Forbes, 78% of U.S. small businesses will have fully adopted cloud computing by 2020.
Here are some aspects of cloud technology that enable small businesses to carry out their operations on a global scale.
1. Smooth Collaboration with International Customers
If a small business wants to create a global presence in the market, its primary focus should be on customer satisfaction. However, the optimum level of customer satisfaction cannot be delivered without achieving business transparency and keeping customers up-to-date on the latest developments.
In the conventional scenario, the sharing of files is accomplished by means of email. If the customer wants to analyze some statistics/data or view the status of a project, he/she has to request the same. This leads to a web of emails, hampering both the customer’s and service provider’s productivity.
However, cloud technology improves collaboration among small businesses and their customers. When the business process is hosted on the cloud, it can be accessed globally by multiple individuals. Since all the data and applications are stored on remote cloud servers, access can be given to any number of users, including employees and clients.
All that customers have to do to get data access is to log in to the cloud portal. This way, the long threads of email get eliminated. Also, since customers are always up-to-date with the progress, the consequent business transparency leads to trust building.
2. Remote Operations
Handling global operations demands flexibility in the workplace. An organization cannot handle global business if its employees cannot work outside of the office. This is because offering service to global customers means working in different time zones. Of course! No one can sit at the office 24/7.
But, with the capabilities of the cloud, employees can access their process from anywhere on the planet, day or night. Users only need an internet connection and an end-point device, and nothing more. Working remotely leads to a mobile work environment, where management can keep track of the business, and employees can complete their tasks, even while traveling.
Tapping into the global market is not an easy task. Small businesses need to evaluate their strategy if they want to compete with the best companies in the world. Moreover, it is imperative for small businesses to look for ways to optimize their expenses and reduce any budget overheads.
Cloud technology does just that for small businesses. It helps them reduce CAPEX as well as OPEX. There is no need for on-premise hardware setup and IT infrastructure since the entire business process is on the cloud. Consequently, the number of IT personnel is reduced considerably.
Businesses can opt for a cloud service provider that offers managed hosting services and takes care of all the IT-related issues at affordable prices.
4. Hire Global Employees
Small and medium businesses do not have the leisure to hire employees situated in remote locations. This is because of various factors, one of which is the location of the company office. This causes businesses to miss out on the extraordinary pool of talent available in other parts of the world.
Cloud technology empowers businesses to hire employees, irrespective of their location. Since everything on the cloud is remotely accessible, it does not matter where the employee is located. For instance, an employee can be situated in Sydney and work for a company in Texas. The ability to hire remote employees gives endless hiring options to businesses.
5. Better Decision-making
Achieving constant growth and business development calls for making the right decisions at the right time. However, it is easier said than done. To optimize decision making, small businesses need to make use of real-time data and advanced analytics. They must evaluate the present scenario along with the future trends of the market.
To stand their ground in the global market, small businesses need to analyze data from separate geographies across the world. Each region contains its share of potential customers with diverse preferences. Businesses need to implement marketing strategies in accordance with these regions.
By utilizing cloud technology, small businesses can access data in real-time. Since data is stored in one place, it can be analyzed more efficiently and in a timely manner. Hence, instead of getting weekly or monthly reports, decision-makers can view changes instantly.
It leads to swift and accurate decision-making, even if the data is collected from all around the world.
The Story So Far
To ‘Go Global’ does not only imply acquiring potential customers and offering services as per international standards. It also encompasses the gathering of valuable insights and knowledge from all over the world on how to optimize the business process and offer satisfactory services to clients.
Cloud technology is a versatile platform that allows small businesses remote access, to collaborate well with their customers, and to hire employees on a global level, among others. It helps businesses make decisions based on real-time data analytics. It empowers them to save costs and compete with global competitors.
Sharad Acharya is a technical content writer at Ace Cloud Hosting, a leading provider of QuickBooks Enterprise Hosting services. He loves to research the latest technologies and has written articles on cloud computing, virtualization, and security. You can follow him on Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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