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Midsized companies are finding their way to the cloud

Midsized companies are finding their way to the cloud

When discussing the market for cloud computing there are two directions dominating the arguments: one is how the cloud can help small businesses and the second one is adoption by the large companies.

Of course, the benefits of the cloud for small businesses are obvious, giving them access to services they would have found too expensive and helping them compete against bigger players.  I have discussed this in a number of articles, including 5 Ways a Small Business can use the Cloud and Cloud Will Allow the Smallest Companies to Compete Against the Largest.  The large companies have the resources, both money and knowledge, to develop and access more complex cloud services to meet their needs.

As usual, the middle gets overlooked but this is changing.

Early this year, a study commissioned by IBM showed „that more than two-thirds either planning or currently deploying cloud-based technologies to improve IT systems management while lowering costs”.  So midsized businesses are not insensitive to the cost and management benefits cloud computing could offers.

In a way, it could be argued that midsized businesses are in the perfect position to adopt the cloud: small enough to be flexible but large enough to have the expertise and afford deployment.  And cloud computing services would bring them many advantages:

  • The inherent flexibility of cloud computing services enables midsized companies to be adaptable and respond to market changes quickly and without paying a high price.
  • The ability to only pay for what you use and add and drop services as and when needed means the beneficiaries are in a good position for both sudden growth or, if necessary, downsizing.
  • Pay for what you need and no investment in infrastructure allows midsized companies to concentrate their resources on exactly what they require.  The economic conditions are difficult, so there is no surplus of capital to be invested in services and capacities that may not be needed.
  • Cloud computing will not only maximize their financial capital, but also their human resources.  Employees in charge of technology will be able to utilize their time better to produce better results for the business, instead of worrying about running the infrastructure.

The benefits may seem clear, but there are a few challenges in the road to cloud computing for medium sized businesses.  Of course, there are the usual ones, like security, availability, fear, but also some additional ones, like the fact that medium sized businesses are under immense pressure today, and its IT employees who would need to drive the migration to the cloud have difficulties in finding the time and resources to think about implementing it.

But I think that all IT managers in medium sized companies should ask a few essential questions, like: would cloud computing help me get more for the money and will we be able to offer more to our customers more efficiently? If the answer is yes and a business case can be made, the choice is simple.

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