JOINING THE BIG DOGS - COMPETE WITH THE BIG DOGS WITH CLOUD COMPUTING
For small firms, the internet was a great leveller.
Small businesses, even the tiniest startups, could
suddenly access wide markets they never could
have penetrated before the World Wide Web.
Geography and the need for deep pockets to
build real-life distribution points retail or
otherwise no longer presented barriers to market
entry. Similarly, the cloud now offers another
breakthrough for small businesses. Before the
cloud, the expense of an in-house
IT infrastructure hardware, software, upgrades
and labor created a mashup of capital expenses
and high fixed costs that just were out of reach
of most small firms.
However, with the cloud, small firms can be part
of the massive aggregated IT infrastructure and
benefit from the economies of scale that
previously only benefited large firms.
How does the cloud help small firms? Let’s count the ways.
First, big capital expenses. No matter how minimal your technology needs, a certain amount of your business is completely reliant on technology. Systems fail, and no business can afford to be offline. That means spending money for mirrored servers and other redundant hardware.
Second, small businesses that experience
cyclical sales peaks may end up having
expensive, unused capacity for parts of the year.
Also, small firms may be unable to ramp up
quickly to meet new demands and opportunities,
and therefore leave money on the table.
IT expansion takes time, planning and
Third, there is labor. Small firms cannot benefit
from economies of scale when it comes to IT
labor support. Clearly, everyone needs 24/7
support, but to maintain that level of staffing
would mean IT labor resources go unused, as
they sit just waiting for a disaster to occur.
In short, the traditional IT model doesn't work
well for a small firm. However, the cloud has
upended that completely. Now, even the smallest
business can have a complete, backed up and
redundant IT infrastructure with 24/7 support. By
moving to the cloud, all of those capex and labor
expenditures are shared among thousands of
small to large businesses. Vast economies of
scale mean lower costs for the small business
owner, an opportunity that never existed until
In the end, the cloud creates a disrupting model that allows the small firm to benefit from all the advantages of available technology without the cost barriers of in-house IT support.. Before the cloud, only large established firms with deep po