Dubai SME and Microsoft Host Seminar on Cloud Computing to Help SMEs Enhance ICT Capabilities

4196Dubai SME, the agency of the Department for Economic Development in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, and Microsoft recently organised a joint seminar on how SMEs can improve and grow their businesses by embracing Cloud Computing, which can enable businesses improve their efficiency and productivity.

The seminar titled ‘Improve your Business by Moving to the Cloud’ was aimed to help Dubai SME companies learn about adopting state-of-the-art information technology (IT) solutions. The attendees were briefed on how the cloud-based wave of IT adoption creates the potential for far-reaching innovation and business growth.

Cloud enables companies of any size access to capabilities and services that previously were available to only larger enterprises. For SMEs, cloud-based IT can help them leverage an already connected community of consumers and businesses of unprecedented size.

Building on the findings of a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group ‘Ahead of the Curve: Lessons on Technology and Growth from Small Business Leaders,’ the seminar highlighted how technology innovation and specifically, cloud technology, can help accelerate SME growth and enhance their competitiveness.

According to the State of SMEs Report published by Dubai SME early this year, only 21% of SMEs surveyed indicated deployment of advanced IT systems (ERP, CRM) to manage their business operations.  Even though 70% of SMEs use basic (software for specific functions) or advanced IT systems, only 35% make an accounting provision for IT expenses in their annual budgets.

The report also revealed that only 6% of SMEs surveyed had online ordering capabilities. The survey therefore points to opportunities for SMEs to upgrade their operations by enhancing their ICT adoption for better performance.  Leveraging the Cloud will be a major strategic solution for SMEs to improve their ICT capabilities.

Launched under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, Dubai SME100 identifies the top-performing SMEs in Dubai to help groom them into bigger and more sustainable enterprises, and support them through their growth into larger, internationally-oriented companies. Post-ranking, the SMEs will be exposed to areas of professional development that will help them move to the next level.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME said: “I am pleased that Dubai SME is partnering Microsoft to run capability development seminars for the SME100 companies. Our top SMEs will truly benefit from this seminar to increase their awareness of cloud computing. I urge all SMEs to seriously consider adopting the cloud, to improve the growth and performance of their company. I also look forward to the continuous partnership with Microsoft.”

Speaking at the Seminar, Asad Ahmed, Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft’s Office Division at Microsoft Gulf, said: “Several local and global reports have indicated that tech-savvy small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) created more new jobs and drove more revenue gains than SMEs using little technology. A recent report published by the Boston Consulting Group has indicated that SMEs who adopted Microsoft Cloud services grew faster than SMEs who do not use any Microsoft products. At Microsoft, we are committed to providing SMEs in the UAE and region with access to the latest cloud innovation that can further enhance their growth, in-line with the vision of the country’s leadership. We see seminars like these critical to increasing awareness and knowledge capacity to propel this growth, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Dubai SME for their ongoing partnership with Microsoft to support this initiative.

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