How important is cloud computing for small businesses and startups?
It is the wave of the future.
All fascination with terminal hardware applications will disappear in the near future. The “cloud” and SAS will revolutionize the world of hardware and software and facilitate access to technology for large populations. Devices to do so will cost current pennies on the dollar or will be free.
Like PC makers, the sun is already setting on mobile phone devices, associated applications, OTS packaged software, and related products. Although these products are popular today, they are expensive and will be quickly overtaken by strong economic and service competition.
Smart strategic planners are looking to the future and it is not a licensed hardware and software market, it is service oriented with low cost access and fees. Volume, free products, advertising, and shareware will drive it all.
Possible exceptions for a slightly longer period of time are high-end hardware and software technologies in government procurement, which for security reasons should be cloistered, protected and safeguarded. Your friendly government agency will be the last to boot your PC out the window.
The importance of cloud computing to * any * business, start-up or otherwise, depends entirely on the business itself, its needs and goals, and its policies and strategies. It is by no means certain that all companies need cloud services.
Technologies “in the cloud” are very misunderstood, highly misrepresented and poorly understood even among those who work in IT: among the problems that now present themselves badly are
a]There is no such thing as “the cloud” – there are many, many different implementations of cloud-like systems and services; each offers different levels and types of service. Some are completely private, others are completely public; and others are a mix of the two. Some clouds are completely local; some clouds are remote and others may be a mixture of the two. There is no one-size-fits-all cloud deployment. There is no cloud. There are simply collections of distributed services that are * described * as a cloud, or as something or other as a service.
b]moving to a cloud deployment is not significantly different from deploying any other highly resilient, fail-safe technology deployment. The difference is that one has moved complexity further away, out of one’s direct control, and increased fragility and the number of dependencies, unless a proper risk and impact analysis has been performed prior to the design / implementation phase. , and has been performed according to appropriate standards of due diligence.
c]cost reduction is largely an illusion; we ourselves may see a reduction in investment / capex costs, but in the meantime, the energy costs and carbon footprints of the global cloud and data storage industry and all of its NOCs have skyrocketed, so which now significantly exceed that of all global air traffic and are well on track to exceed that of air and road transport combined by 2020. The cloud does not reduce those broader social and environmental “costs”, it simply moves them elsewhere, out of our sight, leaving us with the illusion that we have reduced our capex / opex.
d]moving to a cloud deployment is fine, but it increases a critical risk that has been with us since the dawn of the Internet; the cable limit: how much data can be moved between locations in a given period of time. Now we are creating [and using] data at a speed that far exceeds our ability to move it.
We are also creating a gigantic single point of failure for all companies that become completely dependent on the cloud; If all your communications fail, so will the business. If your data movement time exceeds your risk recovery window, your business fails.
You can easily find out what a cloud network can do for your business … by requesting a comparison of available providers, including free quotes at Compare Cloud Providers
Cloud technology can be very useful; but only when all parties involved truly understand its risks and rewards. Startups must make informed decisions when determining how critical a cloud deployment can be. [or may not] be for them. Appearances are often deceptive.