Using Cloud Computing To Beat The Enterprise - InformationWeek

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Government // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
7/3/2008
02:32 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
Commentary
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Using Cloud Computing To Beat The Enterprise

Many enterprises remain reluctant to embrace cloud computing. They have their reasons, but this could be a big opportunity for smaller companies.

Many enterprises remain reluctant to embrace cloud computing. They have their reasons, but this could be a big opportunity for smaller companies.Over at Giga Om, Stacey Higginbotham lists out 10 Reasons Enterprises Arent Ready to Trust the Cloud:

1. Its not secure. 2. It cant be logged. 3. Its not platform agnostic. 4. Reliability is still an issue. 5. Portability isnt seamless. 6. Its not environmentally sustainable. 7. Cloud computing still has to exist on physical servers. 8. The need for speed still reigns at some firms. 9. Large companies already have an internal cloud. 10. Bureaucracy will cause the transition to take longer than building replacement housing in New Orleans.

They're all good reasons -- more or less -- but that's not my point. As these things keep over-cautious corporations from living in the cloud, smaller, more agile companies can exploit the cloud-based opportunities immediately to gain a competitive advantage.

As I've noted before, small and midsize companies get even more relative advantages from cloud computing compared to maintaining their own IT infrastructures because the cloud offers access to economies of scale not previously available . Just as important, many of the negative issues evaporate or fade in importance for non-enterprise-level organizations.

For example, while security is always a concern, many smaller companies simply have less to lose their larger competitors, and may be exempt from certain compliance regulations. In addition, they most likely couldn't afford to implement enterprise-class security in house anyway.

SMBs also typically don't have an "internal cloud" option, and they -- hopefully -- face less red tape than do their enterprise competitors.

Ironically, as cloud computing become more established, the competitive opportunity for smaller companies will diminish. To get the most bang out of the cloud, small and midsize companies need to be leaders, not followers, in the move to cloud computing.

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