Fellow SBS MVP Tim Barrett has a good post here about how Microsoft believe that 58% of our SMB clients want to move to the cloud as it will make them more competitive. He goes on to say that many clients are moving to the cloud simply so they won’t get left behind. Personally I think that there are much better things that customers can do to make themselves more competitive than to simply move to the cloud. I mean, the cloud is there to service their business needs for IT. When was the last time that JUST investing in your IT systems alone made you more competitive? Surely there are other things that clients can do aside from moving to the cloud to make them more competitive? A client of ours was a world class Rally car company… would moving to the cloud alone make them more competitive?
Be careful people – statistics can be made to say anything you want them to say. I’m not saying DON’T move to the cloud. I’m saying (as I have said all along) is to evaluate ALL your business requirements including Cloud solutions, and if it works in the cloud for your business model and I’m not just talking about costs here, I’m talking about the entire business risk analysis, then use the cloud. If upon reflection of your business options, the cloud poses more risk for you than return, then don’t use the cloud. But at a very minimum, at least DO A RISK ANALYSIS before deciding to move that business process (email or whatever) to the cloud is the best thing for you.
Sholto Macpherson says
Hi Wayne I totally agree that businesses should choose the solution that matches their business requirements and not buy the latest trend. For some businesses a cloud solution won’t be the best fit.
Is there too much hype around cloud? Probably, in the sense that there isn’t a lot of reality to balance it. But if you look at it from a cost of ownership perspective, how many of the SMBs that make up 97% of Australian businesses would need buy a server over a cloud solution if they were starting today? My guess is the answer would be extremely few.
Established businesses, with sunk investments in technology and processes, need to choose more carefully. But the next time they are up for a server refresh the cloud will be there to tempt them.
Wayne Small says
Thanks for your thought Sholto – I think that the more people look into it, the better it is for their business. It’s not a case of one size fits all and they need to weigh it up carefully and look at long term costs as well as short term costs. Many SMBs keep their servers for 4+ years, which tends to throw the normal “3 year and replace” costing models out the window.
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