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Which Sized Company is the Best Fit for the Cloud?

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In this article, Cloud Computing: A Perfect Fit for Midsized Companies, Bernard Golden says that many say the Cloud is used mostly by SMBs, while others think the Cloud will really pick up when big companies get on board.  The author argues the Cloud is best for midsized enterprises.  So which sized companies would you say are best for the Cloud? 

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  • The Cloud is good for SMB companies as they need IT no more. Large companies benefit also because there is still a need to focus on business rather than IT even if they afford it. The Cloud is good for all, even for enterprises as larger as Governments because even there there are economies of scale, reduced duplication...

  • All of them, but for the same thing. Where SMB goes to public clouds, such as AC2 and others, and this for the reasons Adrian points out, large enterprises are looking at private cloud to increase the efficiency of their IT environment, reduce costs (including but not limited to electricity consumption). Cloud is such a wide net that everybody gets "trapped" in it. But again, there are multiple approaches underneed that one word, and this is what makes it complexe.

  • useCloud = saveMoney ?? (employees > 0) // :-)

  • I don't think small companies are necessarily the 'best fit' for the cloud, but it's clear that they can benefit very much from a move to the cloud.

    While larger organizations and government agencies are busy sorting out security, privacy, compliance and control issues, the decision to go cloud for small businesses is an easy one. In many cases they cannot justify or afford the large CapEx of traditional IT. They also typically have less existing infrastructure, less bureaucracy, more flexibility, and smaller capital budgets for purchasing in-house technology. Similarly, SMBs in emerging markets are typically unburdened by established legacy infrastructures, thus reducing the complexity of deploying cloud solutions.

    my answer is essentially a short version of this blog post : http://bimehq.com/cloud-computing/smbs-cloud-computing-adoption-the-futures-bright/

  • Cloud Services are meant to become as ubiquitous as utilities (electricity, phone, …). The choice criteria of Cloud v.s. Owned become then related to cost, performance and reliability. Size is not necessarily the only differentiator.

    I see two principle cost aspects – the cost of using the service, and the cost of losing it (service unavailability/interruption). So rather than the size of a company, I’d say it’s the size of the stakes.

  • I think the shorter answer may be for who the Cloud is NOT good for (think your typical IT minion). But all (half) kidding aside, Cloud is good for SMB companies but can apply to any organization regardless of size if they want to:

    • reduce/eliminate capital expenditures for equipment in favor of a variable cost v. fixed cost approach

    • limit direct infrastructure management costs (especially in smaller shops where certain roles are not quite full-time jobs, but you need such individuals on staff)

    • companies with under-utilized computing resources (although this can be accomplished with virtualization for standard hosting or on-premise data centers as well)

    • modernize their applications/platforms and reduce the ROI hurdle rate by not having to invest in new equipment

    The list can go on, but I'll stop here.

  • I really dont agree with people who think the cloud is great for everyone, it really isnt, and it really isnt viable for many organisations / processes etc that are mission critical or require certain compliancy issues be met....

    Small businesses are currently a better fit for the cloud, simply because typical IT hardware and software that established organisations have already invested in, are not available to them. Though this cloud use will be for processes / services that dont require certain compliancy and security issues be met...

    Because of this, the question really should be what "processes and services" are the cloud good for? Any organisation that can potentially leverage the cloud for particular processes and services should do, be they a micro business or a global enterprise. The question is can they utilise the cloud for these. Often the answer will be a NO...

  • My experience in the SaaS industry has shown me that all sized companies can benefit from cloud technology, but not all applications are a “best fit? for the cloud.

    The cloud can offer all the scale most companies will require and support the largest number of users at an increasingly competitive price, but it still has to deal with it’s inherent challenges. Some examples are latency when dealing with massive movement of data. Many cloud applications still need to improve the ease of integration with existing systems, and of course, there are still highest security requirements set by some organizations and government agencies that can rule out a cloud alternative. While most cloud vendors have addressed the "internationalization" of their application stacks, there are still international restrictions imposed by legislation that can take much of the price advantage of cloud computing out of the equation if your cloud vendor has not implemnted local computing facilities.

    What is different today is that even if the cloud option doesn’t fit all applications, it has definitely earned it’s seat at the table for just about all size companies when evaluating the next project.

    The cloud option is here to stay, and while it not a fit for everyone, it’s a clearly a disruptive technology that deserves evaluation.

  • I think Bernand Golden got it right.

    Particularly, he made an important distinction between SaaS and IaaS cloud offerings. It will be a long time before the average small business needs an IaaS product even if AWS or rackspace makes it affordable for them. To understand this trend, it is important to remember what types of businesses are at the small end of the spectrum.

    Technology and digital media startups are the exception and, of course, they should all be using IaaS offerings to be more nimble than the bloated incumbents in their sectors.

    Many small businesses hardly need a server so they definitely don't need to host it in the cloud. SaaS products can both overcome the hurdle of technology ignorance while remaining affordably priced. Many small business owners will not think of services like Google Apps or Salesforce as a cloud service at all. Its just a website or an iphone application that provides a service they value. They are buying the application, not the delivery mechanism. Sure enough, in most cases it is cloud technology that make the service work but the small business owner doesn't need to worry about that.

    A final thought on IaaS: Here is a simple experiment to show the continuing importance of IT to manage IaaS services. I think that you can still deploy Siebel either on-premise or buy it on-demand (SaaS). Go get two random business guys and ask one to sign-up for the on-demand service and the other to deploy Siebel in AWS. If anyone tries this, please let me know how it works out but I suspect that it will provide a newfound respect for technology skills.

  • I understand that Cloud Computing is making virtualized computing resources available via network.

    Hence, my vote is that:
    1. Small and mid size parties more use non-private cloud computing
    2. Large size parties more use private cloud computing

    I hope cloud computing technology becomes more standardized. I'm struggling for dealing with their security and getting remote desktop accesses, sigh,,,,,, it's a new set of technologies, anyway.

  • Size doesn't matter.

    Its about alignment to objectives. I think there are scenarios where the local auto shop (where I'm sitting right now) would benefit from having cloud storage for backup just like a Fortune 500 company would benefit from it. Mid-to-large size shops who have variable demand for computing resources (month/quarter/year-end, large QA cycles) will definitely benefit.

    At the end of the day it comes down to meeting requirements (functional/non-functional) and alignment to business objectives.

  • size matters much less than functional and operational requirements. Today moving to the cloud is more a question related to security and compliance than purely the size of the organization. Also, the existing legacy IT set-up will influence the speed at which a migration to more cloud based apps is possible

    However small new businesses are certainly the best candidates to jump to the cloud from day 1 as the immediate benefit (0 CAPEX) is a strong incentive

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