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Small businesses can’t afford big mistakes. If they’re going to make an investment – whether it be in talent, technology or anything else – there better be a strong promise of return.

With more SMBs moving to and relying on the cloud, the ROI of cloud solutions is becoming more assured.  TechAisle reported that 96 percent of SMBs cited the cloud as a top IT priority because of its potential to increase profitability and reduce operational costs. There are many ways of measuring cloud ROI – from revenue and time saved to things like employee satisfaction and productivity. Let’s focus on three kinds of ROI small businesses can enjoy with cloud and mobile technology: mobility, ease of maintenance and security.

Apps That Follow You Everywhere

Employees today work from all kinds of offsite locations on all kinds of devices. This change in lifestyles and work styles has forced the need for new ways to collaborate and connect with colleagues. That’s the appeal of mobile apps. Small businesses get a connected workforce that can act on the go.

Take Office 365, for example. With Office 365, small businesses can review, edit, analyze and present documents with an interface that is consistent with what they know from their desktop but is optimized for mobile devices. With all that power in the palm of employees’ hands, many common pain points — keeping track of the latest draft, keeping the right people in the loop — stop being painful at all.

Family-owned Holwick Construction knows exactly how nice that can be. It hired Microsoft partner Computer Solutions Group to move most of its infrastructure to the cloud. Now that email and document management are handled via Office 365, Holwick’s contractors, architects, and site managers can collaborate in real time without having to be on the corporate network. The company recoups 12 hours per week formerly spent on IT management. In over a year, that extra time has made it possible to do an estimated $2 million in additional business.

Solutions That Always Update

Software updates aren’t fun, but they must happen. Until recently, updates generally meant shutdowns, reboots, and inconvenience.

But with cloud-based solutions, updates are rolled out automatically, on an ongoing basis. This leaves small business owners free to focus on the things that matter, like running and growing their businesses, instead of managing updates and troubleshooting issues.

That’s what a small law firm working with Microsoft partner Eastridge learned. Previously, the firm depended on a system that required 45 to 60 minutes of weekly downtime to run updates. An entire staff that can’t access the tools they need for a full hour every week? That’s thousands of dollars in lost revenue (plus an immeasurable amount of frustration). Now that Eastridge has helped the firm move to the cloud, the same updates are taking less than five minutes. The staff has near-constant access, and the company has extra billable hours.

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Security That Never Sleeps

Here’s an alarming statistic: Cybercrime costs are projected to reach $2 trillion by 2019, according to Forbes. That’s four times what businesses suffered from digital break-ins and thefts in 2015. In our own research, Microsoft has found that one in every five small businesses has been a target of cybercrime.

What makes SMBs vulnerable? Running businesses on outdated technology. Keeping sensitive information in a server in the back room or on a laptop.

What protects you? Steady updates and advanced protocols.

That’s the kind of protection we’ve built into Office 365. Security updates are provided automaticallyand two-factor authentication is required. This ensures only the right people are accessing your devices and data.

Solutions That Simply Work

However ROI is measured, cloud and mobile technology have a strong record of delivering. But they also have benefits that aren’t easy to measure — like the pleasure of working with something that fits a high-demand, always-moving job.

Quite simply, modern technologies like Office 365 were built to work. They offer incredible power with light management with minimal complexity. For SMBs, that means more time, money and energy to devote to running and growing your business.

Microsoft partners have the expertise to bring the latest in cloud and mobile technology to your business. Get in touch with one, and start experiencing your own ROI.


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