The opportunity to move from an IT investment model based on capital to operational expenditure is a very attractive one to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
Lacking the budgets of their larger rivals, such companies need to think very carefully about investing in major projects.
If a large infrastructure upgrade is required, this may account for much of their discretionary spend for the year - making it more difficult to pursue growth in other areas.
SMBs can benefit from being able to pay for IT services, as opposed to ownership of the underlying hardware and infrastructure that supports them.
And in this respect cloud computing is making a significant difference for companies of this size.
Putting SMBs on an even keel
The ability to purchase hosted services online, with little upfront capital expenditure, makes advanced IT affordable to SMBs.
It puts them on a level playing field with midmarket and large firms, which have often had the resources to invest in their own on-site infrastructure.
A variety of applications and services - well beyond the traditional reach of SMBs - are available in the cloud, giving small company bosses the opportunity to improve their enterprise.
SMBs can pay for cloud computing services as they use them, making it relatively straightforward to budget.
Should anything go wrong with the software of applications they are using, the responsibility to fix the problem may rest with the cloud service provider.
SMBs operating in the cloud can make programmes and applications available to their employees across multiple sites, and various connected devices.
This gives them the additional flexibility they need to respond to evolving customer demands, and stay one step ahead of the competition.
Access to real-time information
In a recent article for Forbes, Newtek claimed that hosted services deliver "smart results" for SMBS - and allow them to harness the power of mobile solutions.
The firm said SMBs can access real-time business information from any smartphone or tablet.
Newtek said advantages of this include sales increases, with staff spending less time dealing with administrative matters and more time servicing customers.
"Small businesses can make more informed decisions faster and never be out of touch with the most important business data," the company stated.
"Real-time information means key business management data is only seconds away, whenever and wherever the business operator is."
Posted by Alex Boardman