Cloud technology drives agility and growth for small businesses

There is no doubt that the economic recovery will be driven by the success of our startups and small businesses.

This is because it is estimated that between 80 and 98 percent of all companies in Kenya fall into the category of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which underscores the economic importance of these companies.

During the pandemic, we learned that building resilience ensures business continuity in ever-changing market conditions – where many SMEs operate on tighter budgets. The necessary resilience is rooted in digital transformation. It enables companies to streamline processes and become more agile in response to future disruptive changes.

On the path of digital transformation, the introduction of the cloud is a decisive first step towards resilience for SMEs. In addition, long-term business transactions in the cloud are also the best choice for future-proofing operations in a global digital economy.

The global digital economy is powered by the latest technology, from artificial intelligence and machine learning to the Internet of Things, all of which use the cloud as a platform. As the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation notes, “cloud computing is an integral part of new IT-driven business developments,” which in themselves drive the economy by driving new solutions to existing problems.

the Future of corporate resilience A report released by Microsoft in 2020 finds that investing in the latest technology results in 20 to 30 percent higher employee productivity and 40 to 50 percent faster time to market, among other things.

A preventive rather than reactive investment in such technologies also delivers 50 percent higher returns and accelerates digital transformation by 14 percent, according to the report.

With economies out of the initial “response phase” to pandemic market changes, now is the time to take proactive solutions to build sustainable businesses of the future.

In order to drive the proliferation of beneficial cloud solutions in Kenya, the unique infrastructure requirements of our country must be met in order to make the connectivity accessible.

Data centers, fiber optic, and cellular networks have struggled to provide affordable, consistent, high-speed Internet connectivity to widely dispersed, underserved communities. This prompted Microsoft to launch the Airband initiative, which uses TV whitespaces – unused broadband frequencies between TV channels – to provide extensive connectivity.

With initiatives that address connectivity needs, Kenya’s SMBs can leverage the power of cloud-based technology that removes other potential barriers to starting and growing a small business.

The author is Microsoft Country Manager for Kenya

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