Cloud Cover for the SMB Market






Small and mid-sized businesses are sometimes ignored in the data that looks at cloud adoption, as attention goes to global corporations deploying enterprise-wide ERP solutions across their widespread landscapes.  But whether they started with customer relationship management (CRM), e-business solutions that support online sales, financials or ERP, smaller companies are increasingly adding solutions – such as talent management or core HR to their environments.


Our recent study “Talent Optimization for the Global Workforce: The Market for Talent Management Systems 2014” demonstrates that companies of all sizes are looking to the Cloud for their talent solutions.1 For the SMB market, the reasons are particularly compelling:

  • Decreased need for internal IT support; infrastructure management is the responsibility of the vendor

  • With that shift in responsibility, is also the shift in cost: capital expenditures drop as that infrastructure burden is diminished

  • Scalability is enhanced, with increased or decreased capacity as use changes, acquisitions are made, or reductions in force are managed.

  • Keeping current is eased, as the software upgrades are accomplished at the vendor end—with any refreshing in the hardware also the vendor’s responsibility

  • And this is a winner in my book:  a better capability for disaster planning and business continuity. An area I studied extensively in the past, the resources for ensuring business continuity in the face of flood, fire, earthquake, terrorism, tsunami, — you name it—are often unavailable to smaller businesses. Many businesses that have a catastrophic event never recover. Cloud solutions can help:  one company that was severely affected by Hurricane Katrina was able to regroup and stay up and running immediately because all its data and transaction capability was supported by a Cloud ERP program.


Our recent research shows that companies large and small will be selecting new software this year – including core HR and all areas of talent and workforce management. The market study, cited here, indicates that many of those new solutions will indeed bring many small and mid-sized companies increasingly under “Cloud cover.”



1 “Talent Optimization for the Global Workforce: The Market for Talent Management Systems 2014.” Katherine Jones. Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. June 2014.


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Christa Degnan Manning

Vice President, Solution Provider Research Leader / Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Christa leads technology and service provider research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. In this role, she helps businesses align their workforce support strategies with appropriate third-party software developers, service partners, and governance models. A 25-year technology industry veteran, Christa’s expertise assists organizations in creating functional capabilities and employee experiences that increase productivity, engagement, and workforce efficiency. Frequently cited by business and trade media, she has presented market research on business to business trends, leading practices, and expected challenges and benefits at industry and user conferences globally throughout her career. Christa has a bachelor of arts in English from Barnard College, Columbia University, incorporating studies at University College, University of London. She also holds a master of arts degree in English from the University of Massachusetts and has completed executive coursework on business metrics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

2 thoughts on “Cloud Cover for the SMB Market

  1. Katherine, a great point as the cloud brings scalability and drops the cost of entry for platforms, SMBs are naturally looking to the cloud. I will add one thing to your list of reasons – it’s now possible for SMBs to get enterprise – sized solutions. Perhaps ERP needs a new name in the cloud era to reflect this. How about BRP?

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