How SMEs can profit from the digital revolution


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The digital age continues to deepen its impact on businesses of every size. Large companies are routinely challenged by smaller, more innovative competitors. Organisations that have dominated their industries for decades risk being displaced virtually overnight by data-powered business models. And the right technology makes all the difference.

For many smaller companies, traditional ways of managing data make it hard to capitalise on this digital transformation. Simply storing large amounts of data locally can be prohibitively expensive, and implementing the tools to make sense of it adds a new layer of challenges.

There is a better way. By moving data and analytics to the cloud, you can spend less time focusing on protecting and storing information, and more time making it work to your advantage. Because you have to pay only for what you need and don't need to managing the infrastructure, cloud services are the ideal platform for smaller businesses.

Here are four basic things you need to consider when building your digital data foundation:

  1. Basic data backup: If you're not backing up your valuable business data because it's too expensive or complex, you risk losing your key asset in the race to innovation. The cloud makes it relatively easy to back up almost any amount of data, giving you the protection of an enterprise-grade datacentre without the cost or complexity. Microsoft Azure Backup is a powerful, affordable solution that can be simple enough for almost any business to set up and use.
  2. Comprehensive data protection: Once you know you have your data backed up securely in the cloud, you should consider how that data is protected. The first step is to make sure that you're running the latest version of Windows. For mobile devices, consider a solution such as Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security, which lets you manage a wide range of devices from one service and keep personal and corporate data separate.
  3. Scalable data storage: Once you start gathering and using data to advance your digital business, you may find that there's a lot more of it than you thought. You need a scalable way to store and manage information - one that integrates with analytical tools that help you make smarter decisions. Azure Storage can scale to any amount of data and can work seamlessly with solutions such as PowerBI and Azure HDInsights.
  4. Adaptive IT: To capitalise on disruptive trends, you have to be able to move quickly - something traditional approaches to IT are not known for. By moving business services such as email and data storage to the cloud, your business will be well positioned to respond with agility to threats and opportunities.

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