Many medium-sized businesses take their investment and objective cues from large enterprises. These large businesses got to where they are today by generating a high ROI and satisfying market demands, and for established mid sized companies looking to grow, they are certainly good entities to emulate. Many large enterprises built their business and retained their industry position by investing in forward-looking, innovative techniques and technologies. Enterprise cloud computing has provided advantages for bigger companies, making them more agile, highly structured and better positioned to take on the challenges and opportunities of the future.

Medium-sized firms have been slower to take up the mantle of cloud computing and follow the lead of larger trend-setting organizations, even though many of them have the resources to so. A recent report by the U.K.-based Centre for Economics and Business Research found that medium-sized companies are lagging behind larger enterprises in the adoption of cloud computing and information and communications technology (ICT), a trend which is limiting their current productivity and opportunities for further, faster growth. The study, which examined medium-sized enterprises (designated as being between 50 and 250 employees) and large ones in the U.K., France and the Netherlands, found that enterprise productivity has risen by an average of 1.1 percent more per year than that of medium-sized companies. Such a disparity, if it continues over several years, can create an almost insurmountable gap between medium-sized businesses and their larger competitors.

Bridging gaps with enterprise-class cloud computing
The report found that cloud computing could be the single greatest asset in medium-sized organizations' efforts to rise into the large enterprise echelon. Mid-sized enterprises could expect three major advantages from cloud adoption – business development, cost savings and new opportunities. In turn, an increasingly agile organization would be more productive and better able to implement innovative ICT, which would shore up their growing disadvantage in another key area. A hosted cloud solution would decrease a company's IT capital expenses by 17.3 percent and energy costs by 44 percent, savings which can be devoted to improving other core business functions. IaaS clouds and other advanced solutions are lowering the barrier for successful cloud implementation, according to the report, and could foster the creation of 35,000 new mid-sized businesses in the U.K. alone.

"Solutions which previously would have come with off-putting upfront costs and slow deployment times are now available in the cloud, underpinned by a Business-Process-Platform-as-a Service, enabling [mid-sized businesses] to take advantage of the benefits of a customized enterprise solution at a much lower cost," the report stated. "This approach enables MSBs to bridge and combine cloud an [sic] on-premise systems in the same way that enterprises can."

Collaboration and partnership in enterprise cloud solutions
The influx of solutions ideal for collaborative environments, like cloud partner programs, are improving the quality of overall cloud services and hastening the speed of deployment, according to Xconomy​ contributor Sramana Mitra. Well-positioned enterprises looking for another method of increasing their profitability and growth potential could enter into a cloud partner program or become a cloud reseller, offering the same benefits of cloud computing that they received from their cloud service provider and becoming a player in the field.