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SMBs adopting cloud, mobile tools to strengthen operations

Small businesses often encounter big challenges when trying to remain relevant and efficient in today's increasingly competitive private sector. This is largely because developing firms have fewer resources, hampering their ability to invest in technologies that would likely improve operations, reduce costs and enhance productivity. Fortunately, these obstacles are not deterring the small business sector, as decision-makers are spending money on these solutions anyway.

A recent study of thousands of small organizations by PaySimple highlighted that the majority of respondents want to use more cloud-based technologies and be able to manage operations via a mobile device. In fact, roughly 53 percent of businesses are now able to use smartphones, tablets and other gadgets for more workplace operations.

In regard to the cloud, approximately half of IT decision-makers intend to add more cloud computing services to their offerings in 2013, PaySimple noted. This will likely improve operations as well as mobility and agility, giving small companies a potential competitive advantage over rival enterprises that have yet to adopt the cloud.

A separate study of more than 1,300 IT executives by Spiceworks revealed similar findings, noting that bring-your-own-device policies and cloud computing are among the top technological trends that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are embracing. In fact, roughly 62 percent of small IT departments used the cloud in 2012, up from 35 percent in 2011. Approximately 73 percent of SMBs intend to use the cloud in the first half of 2013.

"The world's SMBs continue to increase their investment in new technologies, including tablet devices, smartphones, cloud services and virtualization," said Jay Hallberg, co-founder and vice president of marketing for Spiceworks. "The results of our research bode well for the industry as new technologies become more pervasive and prompt IT departments to make additional investments."

If small companies want to remain relevant in the coming years, decision-makers will need to adopt innovative technologies with new vigor, as failing to implement unique tools and technologies will only make it more difficult for firms with smaller budgets and fewer resources to compete. By planning ahead, SMB executives can find the right cloud and mobile offerings to meet their specific demands. This will be critical to ensuring long-term success in the SMB sector and the overall private sector as a whole.

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