Small Business, Big Technology: How the Cloud Enables Rapid Growth in SMBs

by Denise Hazime on September 26, 2014

This is a repost from the official Google Apps blog, written by Neil Delaney, International SMB Director, Google Apps for Work.

Fast growth often seems an elusive concept, something a lucky few tech start ups capture for a few fleeting years before slowing to smaller, incremental advances. But a new report we commissioned with Deloitte, Small business, big technology: How the cloud enables rapid growth in SMBs, paints both a more complex and uplifting picture” that small and medium businesses are using cloud technology to overcome growth challenges and scale and grow faster. The research explores the operating practices and strategies of businesses in the United States and Europe with up to 750 employees, and suggests that SMBs should move tools and applications to the cloud in order to free up time, capital and resources, and to establish a platform for sustainable rapid growth. Here are a few of the key insights we discovered.

Cloud Technology Unlocks Faster Scaling and Growth Opportunities

Eighty-five percent of SMBs reported that cloud technology enables them to scale and grow faster, while sixty-six percent said that the cloud allows them to outperform against their competitors. It's this ability to leapfrog other companies and scale rapidly that makes cloud an essential part of any small business's strategy.

Cloud Technology Has a Bright Future

Sixty-six percent of companies expect to increase their use of cloud-based technology in the next three years. This is another trend prevalent amongst companies who have gone Google, who begin adopting cloud services early on in their development and, through experimentation and iteration, begin to adopt more and more cloud solutions across their business processes. Businesses using an above average number of cloud services also grow 26 percent faster and drive 21 percent more profit than those that use no cloud tools.

The Cloud Is Favoured by Both Startups and Established Companies

It's not just startups that use the cloud as a tool for fast growth: 79 percent of relatively mature companies” those older than 5 years who are growing at less than 10% per year” believe cloud technology enables them to access new markets and revenue streams. This will become even more important as organisations adopt more digital tools in order to expand into new regions or product areas.

Fast Growth in Action

One businesses that knows firsthand the power of embracing digital technology to drive fast growth is Made.com, an online retailer that's grown to 150 employees across four countries in just four years” and become a household name in the UK along the way. Made.com has relied on Google Apps for Work from its founding days to build a culture of collaboration and innovation, and cites the cloud tools as a key driver in its ability to grow quickly and at scale. 'Google for Work' they said recently, helps us connect, communicate and collaborate.

Keep your eye on the Google for Work blog over the coming weeks for three more fast growth stories from companies that have gone Google and rapidly scaled the business food chain. You can read the full report on fast growth and the impact of cloud technology on businesses here.

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Denise Hazime
VP of Alliances at UpCurve Cloud
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