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Cloud Computing for SMBs: A Level Playing Field

cloud computing can power and shape the next generation of technology solutions delivery

With the cloud, and the availability of cloud service providers, organizations no longer have to invest in additional technology infrastructure. They can leverage the infrastructure provided by the cloud service provider, or move their own applications to this infrastructure. Customers derive enormous economies of use by leveraging the pay-by-use model, instead of upgrading their infrastructure, to provision for peaks in data volumes. Typically, in situations where there is a need for a huge IT infrastructure to deal with voluminous data, for example "on-and-off workloads" during the holiday rush for the websites of retail companies, cloud infrastructure is very useful. These instances may happen once or twice in a year and the cloud is the perfect alternative to heavy IT investments that will remain underutilized all year around. The cloud can handle the peak load at the specific time required. It can scale on-demand when needed and the customer only needs to pay for the time used. In this way, larger organizations can save by not having to plan for peak load. Smaller organizations can access expensive applications, where the usage may be sporadic.\

Cloud computing incidentally offers myriad advantages to small and medium businesses (SMBs) providing them with a level playing field, and enabling them to compete with some of their larger peers. Unlike large organizations that can actually invest in IT infrastructure, smaller players are hugely constrained when it comes to making capital investments. Cloud computing provides them with a solution where they can reach new customers across the globe, address their needs and do this at a low cost, and based on the actual usage of technology infrastructure. The convenient pay-for-use model is well suited to the needs of smaller players that lack the marketing clout to create visibility for themselves.

Cloud computing hits a particular sweet spot for SMBs. Cloud services offers the huge benefit of not having to deploy physical infrastructure. Cloud also ensures the ‘anywhere, anytime' availability of solutions. It means hassle-free collaboration between all the stakeholders of the business.

According to technology research and advisory firm Gartner Inc. (which has established a Global IT Council on cloud computing), there are several challenges in cloud computing adoption. In a recent report, Gartner details these as data ownership, Service Level Agreements, change management, technical limitations, legal jurisdiction, and security and software licensing. Provided these hurdles are dealt with, cloud computing can power and shape the next generation of technology solutions delivery.

More Stories By Sanjay Sharma

Sanjay Sharma is an architect with Impetus Technologies. He has over 12 years of experience in architecting and designing large-scale enterprise systems. He currently focuses on large-scale systems, high-performance computing software, and big data analytic solutions at Impetus Innovation Labs, helping solve large data and compute business problems using distributed and parallel technologies like Hadoop, Aster Data, NoSQL databases- Cassandra, Hbase etc, grid computing software, Erlang, GPU and NVIDIA technologies as well as Cloud computing.

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