Small Businesses and the Cloud

What is a Cloud?

We all know data can be stored on our desktops and local server hard drives. But the other option that one has is to store and access data on the internet. This is what a Cloud stands for. It simply means using the shared data centers and their resources to manage your apps and data. Many call it a metaphor for the Internet.

Anyone who hears about the Cloud is bound to be awed by its features at first. Its advantages are sure to motivate you to step onto it at the earliest. But if you have a small business and you are planning to move on to the Cloud, wait! Taking up the Cloud blind-folded might cause you problems later on. It will be intelligent to first look between the fine lines and assess that whether it is actually useful for your small business or not?

Is the Cloud really useful for the Small Businesses?

Cloud is good but it is definitely not for everyone. A small business has different needs and they might actually be better off using their customized software or technologies which are specifically designed according to their need, rather than just following the herd and using the Cloud.

Here we try to unravel what really is not good about Cloud when it comes to small businesses.

  1. Uptime: When it comes to keeping your website up and going all the time, using Cloud might not be such a good idea. The biggest of the cloud companies have had huge outages. An outage at their end definitely means that your website will be down and will not be available for the visitors. This is something that a small business definitely does not want.
  2. Data Security: When you are storing your data in the Cloud, its safety now completely depends upon the company that manages and runs that Cloud. It is a fact that now the most confidential data of yours on the Internet and a slight glitch or a hack can land that data into the wrong hands. Keeping the data on the cloud might make you very uncomfortable regarding data security.
  3. Support: If you are looking for e-mail or telephone support or for really detailed user manuals that will give solution to your problems then Cloud is definitely for you. The customer service is not prompt with the Cloud. Stay away from it if you do not want to figure out the solutions to your problems through a community or user forums. Cloud platforms give very poor support.
  4. Costing: When any one talk about Cloud, a paramount feature that he is susceptible to establish is that the Cloud is cheaper. Hold on. This might just be wrong when spoken in context with a small business. Sometimes certain features are required for a specific business. A Cloud might not be offering it at all! Or you might have to pay extra money to get it. The cloud always has a virtualization layer that uses a lot of resources and is responsible for giving the Cloud its features of flexibility and elasticity. This definitely costs money which is taken out of your pocket. Comparing the pricing of a Cloud plan with other options would be a good idea if you don’t want to waste money.
  5. Needless elasticity: If you are a small business, you are definitely looking for long term stability and some technology that you can rely upon. Cloud offers elasticity which means it can easily adapt to heavy changes in the work load. But hey! There aren’t many in your case is probably nonexistent. Do you really need the Cloud?

The Cloud and related technologies are good and can really be a boon for those who are having problems that a Cloud can fix. But has nothing extra ordinary to offer to the small businesses. So it will be a good idea to stick to your comfort zone instead of jumping on to the Cloud.