Cloud computing has gained some notoriety in the last couple of years. Amazon.com has become a major player in the cloud computing market as have Google and Zoho, the open source competitor to Google Docs. Is cloud computing a concept that small businesses can get behind?
First, let’s define the cloud.
Cloud computing consists of decentralizing a company’s computer networks and paying only for services that you use. You may end up with one application on one server and another application on a completely different server. Does this offer the small business any advantages?
Yes, it does. Cost is the most obvious advantage. Since you only pay for the services that you actually use, a small business can often achieve some of the same connectivity power that their larger competitors have at a fraction of the cost. You don’t pay for network services that are not important to you so bundled services become a lot less attractive to the market overall.
Another advantage is security. If one server gets compromised you still have your other services. However, unlike a cluster server you cannot move your applications from the compromised server to the non-compromised. That’s one disadvantage.
Nevertheless, I see cloud computing growing and becoming more relevant to small businesses in the near future. This is a concept you want to keep an eye on. Perhaps you’ll find a way to incorporate cloud computing into your online business model.