Outsource to save your SME

28 Nov 2018

Ever-spiralling costs have put many small- to medium-sized companies on the backfoot, especially in today’s challenging business environment. Yet it’s these same enterprises that have been identified by government and policy commentators as vital contributors to the South African economy – with SMEs accounting for around 34% of GDP. A report sponsored by the South African SME Fund, andpublished this August, found that formal sector SMEs have created 28% of all local jobs in the past four years, and employ 2-3 million people full-time. And looking ahead, the National Development Plan predicts that by 2030, 90% of the nation’s 11 million new jobs will be generated by SMEs.

That’s high praise and potential indeed, but the ground-level reality is that many SME owners are struggling to run and grow their businesses. Maintaining a grip on budgets while focusing on everyday business growth, demands high levels of multitasking adeptness. Outsourcing, or shifting some aspects of your business to digital service providers, is a modern, effective and increasingly-popular solution to this dilemma.

Turning to providers of cloud-based business solutions will help to not only save time and money, but also free SMEs to concentrate on key operational areas, ensuring an upward trajectory for business growth. Here are some of the best reasons for making this shift:

A vast selection of choices

Cloud-based business solutions are incredibly diverse – more so than many companies may realise. While some services, like Online Backup and Hosted Mail, are recognisable high-profile options already in widespread use, other options range from end-to-end security to virtual servers. Even voice solutions can be outsourced today to cloud services providers, saving on traditional PABX rental and maintenance costs and introducing value-added features such as automatic call recording and voicemail-to-email forwarding.

Cloud-based business solutions are incredibly diverse – more so than many companies may realise. While some services, like Online Backup and Hosted Mail, are recognisable high-profile options already in widespread use, other options range from end-to-end security to virtual servers. Even voice solutions can be outsourced today to cloud services providers, saving on traditional PABX rental and maintenance costs and introducing value-added features such as automatic call recording and voicemail-to-email forwarding.

Flexible solutions to match your needs and budget

Outsourced cloud solutions are not just for big corporates with budgets to match. Their digital and modular nature, with supporting infrastructure provided and managed by the service provider, makes them cost-effective, flexible and scalable – ideal for agile-minded businesses who find their needs and financial resources rapidly shifting.

Choose your cloud solutions provider carefully

Using the Voice solutions example, today your small business may only be able to afford, and require, a cloud-based voice system to more effectively track your communications usage. Tomorrow you may need an all-encompassing “Rolls-Royce” option that effortlessly links your many offices and remote staff, and utilises Unified Communications enhancements to streamline customer interactions.

This form of outsourcing, which is typically paired with a subscription model, also allows an SME to reduce its capital expenditure because of the lessened spend on hardware and other related assets that may have end-of-life considerations. Funds can be utilised from the business’s operating expenses instead. Key here is turning to a solutions provider who recognises the operational reality of SMEs and structures their offerings in line with these companies’ requirements and spend expectations.

Easy, fast integration with your systems

The last thing an SME needs is disruption to its daily operations. With cloud-based business solutions, there is no downtime, noise or mess while servers are installed at your office, for example. As long as you have a reliable high-speed Internet connection, installations and deployments are much shorter than with alternatives that have fully physical, on-site requirements. Think hours, as opposed to days and weeks in some cases. Fully supported, these solutions are designed to integrate easily with existing company systems, and with management capabilities hosted in the cloud, you can swiftly begin using them to support your business.

Expert backing for your business

Nobody can be an expert in everything. Choose your cloud solutions provider carefully and you’ll enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you’ll have the knowledge and experience of a specialist behind your brand. This is especially useful in the area of cybersecurity and information protection, given the risks that hacks and data compromise pose to a company. Solutions like HostedSecurity and Endpoint Protection will not only comprehensively safeguard your business from the myriad of different attack vectors employed by hackers, but also ensure its compliance with strict regulations like Europe’s GDPR and South Africa’s own upcoming PoPIA.

The beauty of outsourced cloud solutions is that you can utilise many different providers, capitalising on their specific strengths. Alternatively, another ultra-convenient solution is to turn to a service provider that offers a full suite of resilient cloud services specifically designed for forward-thinking businesses of all sizes – not just major corporates. SEACOM as an example, delivers all of this, in addition to the reliable, high-speed connectivity that these time-and-money-saving solutions require to get your business to function optimally.