Article by Alessandro Russo

Is the Cloud the right fit for my small business?

One of the most popular questions (and actually well-grounded), is the one about the convenience of implementing a Cloud solution, not in the case of medium and large companies, but in the case in which the player is a small company, a family one, perhaps.

It is known that among the peculiar ability of every single small-business entrepreneur, apart from foresight, dedication and stubbornness we can also add the tireless will of having everything under control. Focusing on Information Technology, it is easily deducible that this vision of life considers that everything, from the hardware to the smallest detail of a specialized software, needs to be stored in the Data Center, the Sancta Sanctorum of every company.
Compared to bigger realities, maybe also the ones that have international connections, it is clear that small business difficulties seem to fit less for the Cloud vision, that considers not to close the solutions to the need of Information Technology inside of one’s company (this is particularly true in the Italian reality, which is full of bureaucratic peculiarities).
Beyond this historic change we are living, we are experiencing the need of changing not only working methods, but also (if we consider it from a broader perspective) the way in which we want to have available data and information that circulate inside the company, and even more the content that single data put together can provide us.
As it always happens with change, there are some fears that persist. We can divide them into 4 issues:

  • Accessibility, the necessity of having our information available at any time.
  • Security, the necessity of having our data always accessible and to have them always stored in a secure place to not lose them.
  • Inviolability, the guarantee that our information can not be used from third parties.
  • Cost, the company already pays for some resources in order to guarantee some services and it doesn’t want to pay others.

Even if these fears can be legitimate, there is the tendency to focus on problems without examine in depth the values of the Cloud solution and to value if these problems subsist only after this reflection. In particular, we can observe how these doubts or fear could be more tied to the fear of the change itself than to the fear of not being able to face it. So, let’s take a step back to examine the Cloud bluntly, before declaring its limits.

The Cloud is changing our way of conceiving the IT resources world, where these resources are always more copious and immediately ready to be used, by allowing a precise management, always accessible from every device (and this translates into a use of on-demand resources). The Cloud allows to accelerate new applications release without using resources inside the company. It decreases investments in infrastructures that the company should face to buy new hardware or software for this activity, so it takes advantage of the resources in terms of infrastructures, applications, services and platforms already available in Cloud. Furthermore, implementing a Cloud infrastructure provides a high flexibility in reacting to real requests of resources for published services, in terms of increase and deflation. The company that chooses Cloud solutions will use only necessary resources to satisfy the current request, with all the tools to manage variations in a precise way and with contained costs, by just paying what it actually uses.

It is surely different the scenario in which a company is forced to buy new resources, hardware, software or services in order to face requests increments and to sell them, then, also not used, in moments of market concentration. All this translates into a really small cost in a lot of situations that provide scalability to the company’s IT needs. Moreover, Cloud access is available from any device, anywhere in the world, by facilitating sharing and collaboration processes among working groups, as well as with technological partners or clients.

In the end, security and privacy-connected matters are valued as ‘low risk’ from all that companies (of all dimensions) that already implemented Cloud solutions. The reason is really simple: Cloud providers are high technological-content companies that continue investing in state-of-the-art solutions in order to grant the maximum security and reliability for their services.

The IT evolution process towards Cloud started more than ten years ago and continues growing and developing, by changing the way we conceive IT services in companies; and you, are you ready for the change?

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