Cloud technology drives agility and growth for small businesses

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

Indeed, in Kenya, estimates suggest that between 80 and 98 percent of all businesses fall into the small and medium (SME) category, underscoring the economic importance of these businesses.

During the pandemic, we learned that building resilience ensures business continuity in constantly changing market conditions – in which many SMEs operate on tighter budgets. The required resilience is rooted in digital transformation. It allows businesses to streamline their operations and become more agile in response to future disruptive changes.

On the road to digital transformation, adopting the cloud is an essential first step towards resilient SMEs. Beyond that, doing business in the cloud for the long term is also the best bet for sustainable operations in a global digital economy.

The global digital economy will be driven 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 will stimulate the economy by providing new solutions to existing problems.

The The future of business resilience The report, released by Microsoft in 2020, notes that investing in the latest technology results in 20-30% higher workforce productivity and 40-50% faster time to market. fast, among other benefits.

Investing in such technology preemptively, rather than reactively, also offers 50% higher returns while accelerating digital transformation by 14%, according to the report.

With economies emerging from the initial phase of “responding” to market shifts triggered by a pandemic, now is the time to adopt proactive solutions to build the sustainable businesses of the future.

Fostering the adoption of beneficial cloud solutions in Kenya means meeting our country’s unique infrastructure needs to make connectivity accessible.

Data centers, fiber and mobile wireless networks have struggled to provide consistent and affordable high-speed Internet connectivity to remote and underserved communities. This prompted Microsoft to launch the Airband initiative, which uses TV white space – unused broadband frequencies between TV channels – to provide inclusive connectivity.

With initiatives addressing connectivity needs, SMEs in Kenya can leverage the power of cloud-based technology, which removes other potential barriers to starting and growing a small business.

The writer is Microsoft Country Manager for Kenya

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