Author Leonard L. Levinson once said:
“A pessimist only sees the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all–he’s walking on them.”
Mr. Levinson could just as easily have been referring to cloud computing. When computing was first introduced, the notion of storing communications, proprietary information, and financial data in some nebulous, intangible, off-site concept was considered by many to be a depressing, if not dangerous, idea.
Trusting a remote server administered by a third-party service provider struck many as just plain foolhardy. How safe could it possibly be? What if the cloud gets hacked or, worse yet, what if the cloud itself goes down, and we are unable to access our information at all?
Although these (and other concerns) still exist, the cloud pessimist is a vanishing breed, and the cloud philosopher may soon regret his “wait and see” approach; meanwhile, the cloud optimist is now the pragmatist whose embrace of cloud computing has been used to his competitive advantage.
SMB decision making is often hamstrung by a belief within the organization that it is too small to avail itself of the benefits of large-scale solutions. Such is often the view of those who believe cloud computing is not appropriate for a small enterprise because, well, because “it’s just too big and we’re just too small.” Interesting, understandable, but inaccurate.
Cloud computing levels the playing field. There are those who believe that it’s possible for an organization to be “too big to fail” (or too big to be allowed to fail). That said, no one believes there’s an organization that is too small to fail. Use of the cloud offers SMB the same advantages and benefits that major corporations and governments receive and, as a result, provides competitive parity:
- State-of-the-art computing. Service providers constantly refine and improve their “products” in order to remain competitive. Security, convenience, and on-call support are all standard fare offered by competent vendors, and SMBs in the cloud have access to it all.
- Low cost. There’s no new hardware to buy or maintain and very little (if any) cost for additional software. As the server isn’t onsite, neither are server-related headaches.
- Convenience. Transitioning to the cloud is simple, taking a fraction of the time normally associated with the installation and implementation of an on-site server.
Cloud computing: “Clouded” judgement that’s good for business.