I recently read an article titled “Five Ways Early Adopters Have Been Screwed.” It reminded me of my friends who spent twice as much money and time on their iPhone than I did because they bought theirs the minute they hit the stores. Although I had a good laugh at their expense, I remembered the jealousy I experienced when they had a gadget that I coveted.
Although my experience was with a recreational device, it’s a good reminder of the risks small businesses take when investing in new technology. The latest and greatest devices usually start out expensive, become obsolete fairly quickly when updates are released, and have a lot of issues that can be both time consuming and costly to fix--all good reasons why small businesses are reticent to adopt new technologies early on.
But new technologies have their benefits, too--if you choose carefully. In the case of cloud computing, you are able to adopt a new technology without a large up-front investment, making it all the more appealing. In fact, cloud computing already has paid dividends for a large number of small businesses: 75 percent of respondents to a Cisco survey are using cloud computing in some form.
Cloud computing is popular with small businesses for good reasons, including:
- Minimal investment in IT
- Easier installations
- Access to more robust applications
- Greater agility to respond to changes in the marketplace
- Ability to try software before you buy
I am by no means implying there aren’t risks involved--I outlined a few of the major ones in my last article. But with all the buzz around cloud computing, on top of the benefits outlined above, it is surely worth your time to consider whether the Cloud is a fit for your small business.