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The Sky is the Limit for Businesses in the Cloud

May “the server” rest in peace. It’s time to breathe the air of clouds in Canada to spur business innovation and ensure success.

From the smallest of startups to the most complex enterprises, Canadian organizations are waking up to the possibilities presented by investing in cloud computing technologies to drive innovation and improve efficiencies.

Chances are by now that your business has at least some semblance of a strategy to adopt cloud technologies. If not, you are likely in danger of falling behind your competitors.

In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of a computer’s harddrive. Historically, companies were required to buy, build, and maintain vast IT infrastructures with high costs; now, an Internet connection is all the infrastructure needed for businesses of all sizes and industries to flourish.

A few of the most compelling benefits of cloud are business agility, operational and resource efficiencies and reduced capital expenses. The most important benefit, however, is that the cloud makes it much easier to start business innovation initiatives.

Business innovation is a key factor to business success, yet Canada, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s innovation report card, has a “D” grade and ranks 13th out of the 16 countries included in the research.

The adoption of and investment in cloud technologies can help keep companies on the leading edge of their industries. According to a recent study conducted by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) called The Five Do’s and Don’ts of Successful Businesses, the top 20% of Canadian firms adopt technology and improve their internal processes more rapidly than the other 80%.

The same BDC report found that 20% of the new products and services offered by successful firms didn’t exist five years ago.

Another recent survey of innovative businesses commissioned by Salesforce.com and IDC Canada found that innovation in Canada isn’t being driven solely by large enterprises investing heavily in research centres and other fixed costs, but through the increasingly common use of technologies in small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

The survey found that half of innovative Canadian small businesses adopt technology faster than their enterprise counterparts. This is possible because the agility of an SMB means they are able to act quickly and introduce company-wide changes faster than their larger competitors.

While innovative SMBs understand how important technology is to their momentum, many others aren’t adapting at the speed they need to succeed. They need cost-effective and reliable solutions like the cloud to help them grow and be productive, and which require little time to implement and manage.

Innovative companies are seizing the possibilities of the cloud and what it can do for their business. The remaining Canadian businesses need to say farewell to the server and look to the cloud or risk getting left behind.

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