Running a small business can be difficult, especially regarding technology. You must wear many hats…
A high level overview.
This post is intended to be a quick read for those that are somewhat familiar with cloud and want to weigh out the benefits. It’s not exhaustive by any means. The benefits for the enterprise are well documented and most large corporations have a cloud migration path. For the small to medium business, there are a number of advantages that lead us to recommend at least a partial cloud migration as well. Here are the top 4 reasons we think cloud is a good option for the SMB.
# 4 – Scalability: Cloud providers have created the infrastructure to allow for rapid provisioning. If the solution you are using needs more processing power or bandwidth, typically it is just a setting change away. This can be tremendously helpful if your business is cyclical and needs more resources to meet a surge in demand, and then scale back down to save costs.
# 3 – Reliability: The underlying systems supporting the software or platform service you are purchasing are maintained, backed up and most often replicated across multiple servers in geographically dispersed data centers (be sure to check with your provider for the details). This offers a greater degree of protection from a catastrophic event like a server or building loss (if you’re hosting your own).
# 2 – Security: Cloud providers make significant investments to keep their services offerings secure. Although there is always an element of risk, providers know that a breach could be catastrophic for their clients and thereby for their own business model. This awareness often contributes to a stronger security posture. Typically, cloud providers will also have a security team that monitors their services 24/7.
# 1 – No up-front infrastructure investment: Cost is always a factor for the growing SMB. Not having to pay the upfront costs for an extensive server infrastructure makes for a compelling business case.
There are a couple of cons to discuss when considering cloud however.
– You have less control: In general, you have little to no control over the services provided. Any customization or alignment with your specific security constraints are typically not supported by the providers, unless that is part of the service offering to begin with.
– Transitioning can be difficult: Vendor lock-in can be an issue. Once you have fully switched to a specific service, migrating to another service (should you find a better alternative) can be a chore, as cloud providers are best equipped to on-board and not transition to a competitor. Additionally, if leveraging a proprietary solution (like MS PowerApps), there are no plug-n-play alternatives so the cost to move would include switching technology stacks.
In short, the pros do outweigh the cons in the majority of cases and business have been able to accomplish a great deal leveraging the cloud services available today.
If you’ve got questions or would like to make a comment, feel free to reach out!