Dispelling the Myths of Cloud Solutions for the Small Business

Changing realityIn the past decade there has been a significant investment in cloud solutions in all business segments.  From Gartner to IDG to Forrester the investment in cloud solutions is significant, and the rate of investment is expected to increase substantially (Forbes article).

As an organization that was “born in the cloud” this only seems natural to us.  What is surprising is that the metrics we’re seeing are being heavily driven by the enterprise space. Small businesses still aren’t flocking from on-premise applications to cloud solutions – that is, small business owners aren’t leveraging the benefits of cloud solutions.  They aren’t leveraging their ability to reduce IT costs, become more agile and scale more quickly.

Well, as a team that focuses on small businesses we’re here to help other small business owners accelerate their growth and put a dent in their bottom-line.

Here are the five biggest myths (and concerns) that we hear from small businesses about adopting cloud solutions.

Myth 1:  The Cloud Isn’t Secure

Of course data security is naturally the biggest concern of any business owner. With so many regulations for compliance (e.g. SOX, HIPAA, PHI, ISO, etc.) at the forefront of every business owner’s mind, and the investment in obtaining data, it only makes sense. But the concern is simply wrong with many cloud solutions.

Very few small businesses have the resources required to setup a full IT department let alone hire the right resources needed to dedicate solely to security.  They absolutely don’t have the resources to hire the technology industries best security professionals with years of experience protecting technology from the bad guys.

Organizations like Salesforce and Microsoft monitor their infrastructure 24×7, have teams entirely dedicated to the protection of their systems and their customers’ data.  They have built their organizations on their ability to defend their systems against hackers and have the resources to make sure it gets done.

Myth 2: Cloud Solutions Are Expensive

When considering the costs of Cloud Solutions for Small Businesses the most important factor is to consider the total cost of ownership of being in the cloud vs. purchasing a server. It’s very similar to taking an Uber vs. buying a car.  Yes, the Uber costs more per mile traveled than simply putting gas into a car, but you don’t have the upfront costs of buying a car plus the maintenance costs – and your car is going to stop running eventually (which means you get to buy another one).

Additionally, leveraging Cloud Solutions is an operational expense for a small business.  If a server is purchased for the same solution the expense is a capital expenditure which will need to be depreciated.

Net/net, the total cost of ownership of a cloud solution for a small business is significantly less than managing a solution in house.

Myth 3: I’m Too Complex for a Cloud Solution

Many small businesses believe that they are unique or their process is so complex that in no way could a cloud solution handle the business’ requirements.  We advise those companies to consider all of the companies on the could – even within our mix of clients we support organizations with as few as a couple employees to over 20,000 employees; and every type in between.

Cloud solutions allow small businesses to gain enterprise-level technology within a scalable cost structure. With Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce.com small businesses are on the same servers and infrastructure as the likes of America’s fortune 50.  All while realizing the same benefits of the cloud solutions.

Myth 4: Your Provider Owns Your Data

Obviously, if you have an on-premise solution you have full control over your data. But, if you move forward with a solid, reputable cloud solutions provider your data will be safe and it will continue to be yours. Just make sure to review the Master Services Agreement beforehand and you should be in good hands.

And, as an aside, consider all of the other data benefits: redundant data back-ups, geographically dislocated data centers, 256-bit encryption, and so on and so forth.

Myth 5: The Cloud Isn’t for Mission-Critical Applications

It’s quite the opposite. Many cloud providers provide solutions that have near perfect uptimes.  For example, Salesforce.com has a long-standing record of over 99.99% uptime and Microsoft financially guarantees 99.9% uptime for Office 365 and Azure.  As long as you are connected to the internet you have access to your Mission-Critical Applications in the Cloud.

And frankly, in today’s world if you lose access to the internet you won’t have the ability to work even if your current solutions are co-located next to your desk in your office.

Don’t let the Myths Hold You Back

Still unsure if cloud solutions are right for your small business? Consider the benefits that your competitors are gaining while you are holding back:

Don’t put off looking into the cloud much longer. Instead look into all of the possibilities that exist with Cloud Solutions for your small business.