Whether you realize it or not, most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are using cloud technology in one way or another. According to an infographic on Line Shape Space, small businesses in the U.S. spent $3.5 billion on cloud technology in 2011, up 41% from the $2.2 billion in 2010. SMBs are using the cloud in all types of areas of their businesses, such as online banking, customer relationship management applications, data backup, and much more. The infographic also reported that small businesses used four cloud services on average in 2012, up from one in 2009 and the number is expected to grow to seven cloud services by 2015.
Many SMBs are moving their entire IT infrastructure to the cloud through the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model where compute resources, as well as storage and networking capabilities, are hosted by a service provider and offered to customers via a subscription-based service. Because the IaaS provider hosts the equipment in a secure data center and customers access it via the Internet it is quickly becoming a more common approach for SMBs for a variety of reasons:
- By relying on the expertise of the service provider, SMBs require less IT resources in-house and it minimizes the skill sets required by the IT staff.
- With all the equipment owned and hosted by the service provider, the SMB does not need to make any capital investments in hardware or software or deal with upgrade concerns
- The subscription-based or pay-as-you-go model enables SMBs to purchase only what is needed at the time, and scale up or down as demands change.
- Since the service providers deliver the same services to multitudes of companies, they have a team of experts with a wide variety of IT knowledge, eliminating the need for SMBs to hire their own in-house experts for various projects.
The previous hesitations with cloud computing are long gone. SMBs, as well as large corporations, are adopting cloud computing at a rapid pace. If IT is not your company’s core competency, you should consider moving your infrastructure to the cloud and relying on experts to ensure you’re effectively taking advantage of the technologies available on the market. Don’t know how to move to the cloud? Click that link to find out.