Small businesses have no choice but to use the cloud

The cons of the cloud are the same for all companies, but small businesses can't afford the traditional-IT alternative

I always pay attention to business publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, when they write about cloud computing. Their writing is very reflective of how business sees this technology and will ultimately play a part in the success of cloud computing.

Recently, the Journal wrote: "For many small businesses that have used the cloud for a few years, the experience has largely been positive, but not without drawbacks. Cloud services run by companies like Google, Amazon.com, Microsoft Corp., and Dell attract entrepreneurs because of their convenience and low startup costs. But some customers complain about security measures and entrepreneurs' lack of control over data."

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What's interesting is that small and larger businesses cite the same complaints around the use of cloud-based platforms, particularly regarding the lack of control. Security is always a concern, but I've yet to hear about people running off with cloud data, even when it occurs daily in enterprises on traditional systems.

However, small businesses really have no choice but to use the cloud. A traditional approach to IT typically means a high overhead cost. Saddled with such costs, small businesses wouldn't be able to compete in a market where their counterparts are paying half as much on IT to chase same amount of revenue.

Thus, most small businesses have few options other than cloud computing. They can certainly complain about the lack of control and security perceptions, but the benefits hugely outweigh the deficits. In fact, the use of the cloud should be exciting for small businesses: New businesses can start up on a shoestring now that most IT resources can come from the cloud.

Still, there will always be the good with the bad. Cloud computing is not at all perfect, but it will continue to evolve to better service businesses -- small businesses now, perhaps larger businesses in the future.

This article, "Small businesses have no choice but to use the cloud," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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