The cloud has become increasingly fundamental to the health and success of businesses. From AI and machine learning, to the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing, the cloud is a core component in allowing businesses of all sizes to manage diversified Internet environments, enable remote work, and achieve true innovation.\nCloud will form the core of the resilience and remote working strategies for most SMEs going forward and is also critical to the transformation strategies of most businesses. With KPMG predicting that over the next two years 80 per cent of revenue growth for businesses will come from digital sources, the ability for enterprises to leverage the cloud will be critical to their competitive advantage.\nHowever, cloud also introduces some new challenges to the IT environment. One big one is security, and the risk that sensitive data will be exposed to hackers. Penalties in Australia for data breaches are severe \u2013 as high as $2.1 million for a single offence, and $10 million for repeated offences. This could be a business-ending event for many SMEs, and yet, government research shows that only 10 per cent of SMEs consider cybercrime their main priority. They rely on the security of their partners and providers to protect them.\nIn addition to the security challenge, there are regulatory concerns. In many cases, sensitive data needs to remain within Australia, and with many cloud providers being based overseas, SMEs can struggle to meet this requirement in their environment.\nSmall businesses and the cloud\nWhile security and compliance are challenges to SMEs, they are not the only inhibitor when it comes to engaging with the cloud. Another big issue is finding the technical skills to maintain cloud environments. Australia faces a skill shortage of IT professionals \u2013 Hays lists cloud engineers as the most in-demand job within IT, making such skills expensive to acquire and retain for small businesses.\nAdditionally, SMEs struggle to scale their environments. Most SMEs are growth-orientated, and aiming to add people, products and services at a rapid rate. Without the ability for IT environments to scale with their needs, the SMEs will struggle to grow at the rate they need to find success.\nSMEs want to use the cloud in the same way that enterprises do; they want access to IoT, AI, data analytics and customer experience solutions, but the perception is that these capabilities are out of their resource grasp \u2013 especially while remaining secure and compliant.\nIt is for these businesses that OVHcloud believes in a SMART cloud.\n\u201cWith this local presence, our team can be close to our customers to have the best understanding of the needs of Australian businesses and focus on the development and follow up of their projects.\u201d OVHcloud general manager Asia-Pacific, Lionel Legros, said.\n\u201cAdditionally, our Partner Program Manager and Startup Program Manager can animate the local ecosystem and work on the onboarding and growth of them.\u201d\nThe SMART cloud\nThe SMART cloud has been designed as a solution that will specifically benefit SMEs within Australia by addressing security, regulatory, and performance concerns that they may have as they embark on their transformation and cloud journey. The SMART cloud offers several features that will be of interest to SMEs, including:\n\n\nThe SMART cloud is easy to use.\n\n\nMulti-local. OVHcloud has 32 datacentres globally, including Australia. This presence allows it to work within local regulations, and also provides the convenience of having \u201cfeet on the ground\u201d locally for support, while also billing in the local currency.\n\n\nOVHcloud\u2019s prices are targeted to be friendly to the SME, and highly scalable as the company grows. Additionally, there are no hidden costs, with OVHcloud being completely transparent about pricing.\n\n\nOVHcloud operates on industry standards to remain open and interoperable, giving SMEs the peace of mind that they can move to and from the platform as needed.\n\n\nTransparency: predictable pricing and no bill-shock.\n\n\nOVHcloud has been careful to partner with the tier-1 organisations within Australia to provide best-of-breed solutions to local SMEs. For example, OVHcloud has just announced\u00a0a new partnership with leading datacentre operator, NEXTDC, for the opening of its second datacentre in Australia.\nThis strategic partnership represents a continued commitment to a locally focused ecosystem that aligns with OVHcloud\u2019s security, privacy, and innovation core values.\nMeanwhile, OVHcloud\u2019s own partner program features over 650 companies worldwide, including 130 Advanced Partners. These partners can build managed services on the OVHcloud and start to provide SMEs with the kind of AI, IoT and edge applications and infrastructure that will allow them to fully commit to transformation.\n\u201cOVHcloud aligns its production chain in conjunction with its values, which sets it apart from other providers. This value-based management allows us with the proven ability to provide our customers cutting-edge solution at a competitive market price, which makes us a price leader by design. And, additionally, we have a strong commitment to sustainability.\u201d Legros said.\n\u201cAt OVHcloud we are ready to partner with customers no matter where they are in the cloud journey \u2013 We have webcloud and public cloud solutions to kick start SMBs cloud journey with us immediately. SMBs can scale and optimise their digital transformation strategy in a dedicated infrastructure with baremetal and hosted private cloud solutions, which opens the door for hybrid and multi-cloud environments.\u201d\nClick here for more information on how SMEs can grow and thrive in an increasingly cloud-driven work environment.