Here is a relatively new survey revealing that small businesses are not that ready to go cloud (at least, they go cloud probably for the wrong reasons): SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey commissioned by Newtek Business Services. The survey reveals that small business owners need to learn more about cloud computing and everything that comes with it.
The survey is based on a poll of about 1,800 small business respondents, telling us pretty much the big picture of what is going on in cloud computing for small business right now (the survey’s May 2011 results): 71 percent of respondents have never heard about cloud computing.
Of the rest 29 percent who have heard about cloud computing, 74 percent can’t describe what cloud computing is.
Regarding the knowledge about IT security, 78 percent of respondents think that their data is secure; they don’t have complete documentation on critical data, information, software and hardware that are stored on-premise IT system. In relation to that, 71 percent of respondents confess that the important data, software and hardware the have are not being backed up off-site.
The question is, when disaster strikes, will small business owners be able to recover the all important data? What about if their system is hacked and get their important data and information stolen? What if their entire business is going down because the cloud they adopt is proven to be not as stable and/or secure as the think (e.g. the Amazon cloud outage, the Microsoft BPOS outage, etc.)?
It seems that small business owners need to learn more about the cloud and collaborate with more cloud-savvy and IT security-savvy people – including hiring one or two.
The cloud computing – with all the benefits and caveats that come with it – can help small businesses to secure their important data, hardware and software – both off-site and on-site. That being said, small business owners need to understand that they need to secure their data on and off the cloud – typically done by creating backups on on-premise IT system and vice versa.
Some cloud adoption tips for small business owners
Small business owners should dig deeper into the world of cloud computing for business before they make any decisions regarding the cloud adoption. Indeed, with all the adverts on cloud computing these days, it’s hard to make a well-informed decision.
The basic rule of thumb in making any business decisions – including technical ones – is to do your due diligence. Have you explore deeper on the cloud solutions you are going to sign up? Have you read reviews on the cloud solutions? Have you discussed the potential caveats with the cloud services with your IT team? Have you consult with cloud-savvy tech consultants?
Don’t falter with all the free offers and the pitched benefits of any cloud solutions and decide to go all the way to the cloud. Instead, use the free trial offers many cloud solution providers offer to test the water.
Be sure to ask a lot of questions to the support team – heck, ask even the most basic questions, such as “what is cloud computing?” to the cloud solutions support team. A good cloud solution should come with a good support team – remember, you will move part or most of your business on the cloud; you need to know with whom you are dealing with, and how savvy they are when it comes to cloud computing solution implementation and troubleshooting.
Why should we do the above, anyway? Well, it’s because if you decide that you are going cloud, you will likely to stick to that provider for a long, long time. Due to cloud lock-in issues, migrating to other cloud solution providers is not an easy task, even for the most cloud-savvy IT people.
Be well-informed – or else…