Hyperscalers can be said to be victims of their own reputations. While they offer hundreds of services; and products, these large cloud computing platforms attract multi corporations, but leave MSMEs (micro small and medium enterprises) out in the cold, thinking that Google Cloud, AWS and Microsoft Azure must be exorbitant. That Big Tech doesn’t care for the little guy and there’s nothing for them in the cloud.
Hyperscalers provide incredible opportunities on the business front no matter the size of the organisation. In fact, the one group that could benefit from the support of hyperscalers are MSMEs. SMEs represent about 90 per cent of businesses and more than 50 per cent of employment worldwide. It’s estimated that 600 million jobs will be needed by 2030 to absorb the growing global workforce, which makes SME development a high priority for quite a number of governments. Basically, the world needs to collectively huddle around MSMEs because they are the future of employment.
In emerging markets, for instance, most formal jobs are generated by SMEs, which create 7 out of 10 jobs. For a start, they are forming businesses that hire as little as a single individual to about 50 people. They play a crucial role in the global economy, contributing significantly to employment and GDP. But these businesses often face challenges when it comes down to resources, scalability, and access to technology. They also struggle with limited resources such as capital, infrastructure, and skilled labour. The latter is a disadvantage for MSMEs. In a capitalist market, they still have to compete with larger enterprises and adapt to rapidly changing market dynamics.
Hyperscalers can support MSMEs through cloud-based infrastructure and services ranging from computing power, storage, and networking, that can be accessed on a pay-as-you-go basis, without the need for upfront capital investments. It allows MSMEs to avoid costs associated with building and maintaining their own physical IT infrastructure, a significant barrier to entry. This takes care of the scalability problem for MSMEs that need to adapt to changing business needs. It allows them to scale up or down without extra costs.
MSMEs are so critical hyperscalers contort themselves to meet their needs. Their customer-first approach means they are equipped to handle smaller businesses. “You can start anywhere, at any level, with AWS. You just need to look at how partnerships can evolve. We have a very flexible programme,” says Samuel Njeka, Partner Success Manager, AWS. Hyperscalers tend to have teams that support start-ups, bursting with different programmes and support just for these fledgling businesses. “We have a programme – Think Big For Small Businesses (TBSB) – that centres on certain marginalised groups such as the Black businesses in South Africa, or women,” says Njeka. Google Cloud have Small And Medium Business (SMB) Solutions. Azure has Microsoft 365 For Business.
In a world driven by data, hyperscalers can provide MSMEs with access to advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Technologies that can help them unlock insights from their data; and make data-driven decisions. It serves as an advantage in a competitive data-driven economy. Imagine leveraging machine learning algorithms to analyse customer data, optimise pricing strategies, and personalise marketing campaigns.
Capabilities that were once only accessible to larger enterprises blessed with substantial resources. The true beauty of hyperscalers is this; they are democratising access to digital transformation technologies by making them affordable and accessible to MSMEs, contrary to what the start-ups might think. Additionally, hyperscalers provide tools for marketing, analytics, and customer relationship management (CRM) that can help MSMEs better understand their customers, target their marketing efforts, and improve customer engagement.
Hyperscalers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, also offer e-commerce platforms, which allow MSMEs to quickly set up online storefronts, manage inventory, process payments, and reach customers globally. They provide MSMEs with the tools to create a professional online presence and expand their customer base beyond local markets.
Finally, hyperscalers nip cybersecurity threats, a growing concern for businesses of all sizes, right in the bud. With their limited resources and expertise, MSMEs need all the help they can get. These platforms have invested heavily in securing their cloud-based services by leveraging dx technologies and best practices to protect customer data and infrastructure. Falling under the umbrella of a hyperscaler means benefitting from robust security measures such as data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and even better, continuous monitoring, which requires resources an MSME may not have. All this helps mitigate risks associated with cyber threats.