Why is cloud technology so important for SMEs today? 

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Why is cloud technology so important for SMEs today? 

Cloud technology offers several benefits for businesses, including increased flexibility and scalability, reduced costs, and improved collaboration and productivity. All these benefits have been in place for many years. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown businesses how cloud technology can help a business continue to operate. As we head into 2023, and a period of economic uncertainty, now is the time to evaluate your business’s technology needs to improve efficiency and increase productivity. This article will show you some of the considerations to make and help you plan for the future. 


What is cloud technology? 

‘The cloud’ is a rather mysterious term used to describe a method of data storage and running programs on third-party hardware on the internet, rather than storing it on physical servers in your location. 

According to the Office of National Statistics, fewer than 50% of businesses purchased cloud computing services in 2019. Techjury reports that 57% of businesses will migrate their workloads to the cloud in 2022. While there will always be a place for on-premise solutions, many businesses have at least started the process of moving their business technology off site and into data warehouses either by hosting their server with a hosting provider or by using applications that are primarily web based. 

Cloud computing still relies on some physical hardware to access the data and programs used but, thanks to the power and speed of today’s internet, the data exchange is much more akin to opening files and working with applications that once were sat in the big box in the corner making the whirring sound. 


Many tools use the cloud already 

The chances are that your organisation is already using the cloud to great effect. Many applications that you use daily will use cloud technology to function and host the relevant data on its servers. 

Take Microsoft Teams, along with Zoom, probably the tool that businesses took on in 2020 that allowed them to keep running while people were forced to work from home. A ‘client’ application can be installed on the local device (eg laptop or mobile phone) or it can be run entirely from a web browser. The database of who called whom, which files were shared, and which notebooks were used to document outcomes are all saved to a business’s Microsoft 365 instance in one of Microsoft’s data centres across the world.  

Microsoft 365 itself is a cloud platform that takes away some of the challenges of needing to be more mobile as a workforce by allowing your team to work on documents from anywhere they are while offering the familiarity of the Microsoft Office solution for your workforce. Microsoft SharePoint becomes the location of files, in the way networked drives used to be. 

Business solutions like Sage 200 have also moved into the cloud over time with this world-class ERP solution becoming available as a hosted application with Sage or hosted on a third-party cloud provider just like it being hosted in that office-based server of old. 

Today we also see cloud-based anti-virus and security systems be cloud-based, and even company-wide telephony systems ditch physical handsets in favour of using the team member’s own device to act as the handset – all while delivering the exact same service to the caller. 


What are some of the benefits of cloud technology for SMEs? 

In some ways, application vendors are dictating the switch to cloud-based solutions as they gradually retire older versions of software and release cloud-exclusive updates. That may feel like forcing a business’s hand but is just a reflection of the progress the technology is making in offering tangible benefits to businesses that make the move. 

Justifying change here is reasonably straightforward. A good business case can be made for updating the technology you’re using. Here are some of the main ones, with some commentary about how we’ve seen these benefit our own customers when we’ve helped them transition: 


Data security 

While there will always be concerns about data, where its hosted and the safety around it, overall, storing your data in the cloud generally presents one of the most secure ways to protect your business. Companies that host data, whether that is an application hosting the data you use in its software, or if you are buying a cloud-based server to install your own applications, will always have greater resources to protect the infrastructure it owns. They have the tools and resources to mitigate, detect and eliminate security threats better than most smaller businesses do. 

Similarly, updates and general maintenance are performed all the time to ensure the stability of the systems it owns. The consequences of them not doing this are huge for them so it makes sense that they prioritise this and ensure continuity of service. 


Remote access 

We’ve seen in the pandemic the benefits of having the flexibility of working in different locations. Moves towards more working from home or hybrid working mean that many businesses need the flexibility to access key systems wherever their team are. Cloud technology just needs the internet to do this, so your business productivity should be maintained whatever the world throws at it. 


Reduced IT costs 

You possibly won’t need a large internal IT team to manage multiple servers and other hardware that needs maintenance. As maintenance is reduced, your IT support can be managed by a smaller, more efficient team or outsourced completely to an IT provider. Cloud technology has enabled companies like EBS to provide much better services to its customers and offer that whole solution approach that is much more cost effective and has specific expertise a business needs in an IT team. 


Disaster recovery 

Should the worst happen, restoring key systems is easier and faster in the cloud. Gone are the days when backups relied on the office manager swapping a tape in the server each night and remembering to bring it back. 

Recovery can be as straightforward as making a few clicks from an online backup solution such as Acronis and restoring to the same, or new instance. Downtime and business interruption can be kept to a minimum. 



As a business grows, the resource it needs will grow alongside it. Cloud technology allows an organisation to scale effectively and appropriately without big leaps in infrastructure. No more frustration for the team as they reach the limits of the hardware on site. No huge cost to purchase larger servers. Scaling up can be done in agreement with the service provider in a matter of minutes. 


Some applications still need their own environment 

Some companies have found it difficult to move to the cloud because of limitations of existing software, or specific regulations with where data must be stored. There can also be challenges if an application needs to talk to another for a business process to run smoothly. 

Similarly, it can be challenging for IT support teams to resolve some issues where the cloud solution is hosted on an instance provided by an alternative provider. It brings up the inevitable challenge of working out who is responsible for which part. 


EBS has an exciting new way of providing the best solution to these problems.

Introducing EBS Cloud 

While there are many trusted cloud providers on the market offering cloud hosting, we often hear that they can be cost-prohibitive to smaller companies trying to make the move to cloud. We specialise in the SME market, so we decided to create our own private cloud hosting service aimed squarely at businesses in this size bracket. 


Our experienced hardware and technical services team have designed and created EBS Cloud specifically to meet the challenges our customers tell us they face. 



cloud hosting

Now you can host a single traditionally on-premise application such as Sage 50 or Sage 200 on EBS Cloud and get the benefits of working in the cloud that we’ve written about above. Or you can move your entire technology stack to EBS Cloud and work entirely in the cloud, allowing your teams to log in from wherever they are working. 


As you grow, we’ll be able to scale your technology to meet the needs of your successful business and help you keep that momentum going. Technology won’t stop you meeting your goals. We’ll adapt and change your installation without any requirement for additional hardware, onsite visits, and downtime. You’ll also not need to upgrade hardware after a number of years – it will be done automatically. 


EBS Cloud has been designed with security at the heart. We use UK datacentres with onsite security measures (find out more here). They also have resilience at the core, with protected power supplies, state-of-the-art cooling systems, smoke detection and fire suppression. 


In addition to the technology, by using EBS Cloud, you’ll receive the benefit from talking to one team about all your business solutions. Our support team will manage your systems proactively and investigate any issues without you needing to worry. They’ll discuss any problem among themselves and work out how to resolve it without any back and forth you sometimes get when multiple support teams are involved. 


Not only is cloud computing the best way for modern businesses to manage their IT, EBS Cloud takes the stress away from you and allows you to focus on running and growing your business to its full potential. 


Sound good? Here’s what to do 

If EBS Cloud sounds like a good solution for your business, please contact a member of the team at EBS to start the conversation.