Research from a new study commissioned by Microsoft has found a link between companies that use hosted services and their fiscal performance. The findings are part of Microsoft's global SMB IT and Hosted IT Index 2010, which investigates how SMBs use technology, as well as how they fared during the recession.
The study polled 3,193 small and medium businesses across various industries from 15 countries.
Interestingly, businesses that use hosted services performed better fiscally than those that do not. In a nutshell, the study found that:
Obviously, it would far too simplistic to say that the use of hosted services determines financial success. It's apparent, however, that forward-looking companies are among the first to explore the use of newer technologies to lower costs and to bring about greater productivity. Despite their smaller sizes, SMBs with the tenacity and foresight to explore new technologies come out stronger.
Of course, it must also be added that awareness of hosted services is increasing steadily. According to the same study, some 65 percent of SMBs are already using hosted software and 73 percent of the remainder have considered it. This compares rather well against the 44 percent using hosted software in the 2008 index.
Dale Vile, research director of Freeform Dynamics, who independently assessed the study, summed up the situation:
"This whole picture corroborates the notion that technology and hosted services can provide tangible business advantage, even for smaller companies, and it's not surprising to see that investment in IT and hosting goes hand in hand with good financial performance."
Economic crisis or not, it is clear that the SMBs that are constantly innovating to improve on their efficiency and productivity come out shining. These efforts ultimately show up where it matters the most, at the company bottom line. Conversely, small and medium businesses locked in the old paradigm are simply left behind.