The buzz about cloud computing has achieved higher decibels. Everyone is coming up with their own version on the definition of cloud computing, utilities, etc. All this fuss has directed me to a question as to “who would get the maximum mileage from cloud computing?”
Well there can be an endless debate on this topic, maybe I am disturbing a honey comb. But let me quote few things in favor of the small and medium enterprises for the sake that I perceive that SMEs are the most likely to benefit from Cloud.
SME presence is ubiquitous, spanning across geographies, across industries like Manufacturing, IT, ITES, Textile, Retail, Pharmaceutical, Agro, Hospitality, etc. Just like any other Enterprise, the SME’s also has a greater need to implement IT in their operations. However having a dedicated department will only make things difficult to the micro, small and medium scale enterprises. Also enterprises in the nascent stage cannot afford this additional burden and hence it is advised that for SME in its initial stages not to have its own infrastructure. However enterprises can go ahead with the plans of setting up its infrastructure once the firm starts scaling up. In monetary perspective also having your own IT infrastructure requires high initial costs along with recurring maintenance costs. Now a days when the technologies are evolving at a fast pace, upgrading to the latest technologies has its barriers like new capital equipment expenditures, data migration to the new system, compatibility issues , training the employees on the new technologies, etc.
So the hell lot of problems mentioned above boils down to the need for a third party provider. Cloud provider addresses all these problems. Cloud computing facility has placed the SMEs in level with the large enterprises in terms of IT capabilities, thereby providing a platform for SMEs to compete and combat with the large enterprises.
- Abuse and Nefarious Use of Cloud Computing
- Insecure Interfaces and APIs
- Malicious Insiders
- Shared Technology Issues
- Data Loss or Leakage
- Account or Service Hijacking
- Unknown Risk Profile
[Source: Cloud Security Alliance (Top threats of Cloud Computing)]
Initially SMEs looking to go on the cloud were apprehensive because of the threats mentioned. The new generation of cloud providers have found ways to address all the above. Cloud providers provide robust monitoring mechanisms, highly secured encryption mechanisms, transparency policies for the benefit of customer, redundancy of data. All these proactive mechanisms have dispelled most of the fears of the customers and thereby protecting the customer’s integrity. These developments have led the SMEs to embrace the cloud in all forms.
So the message is clear for large enterprises: “Beware of SMEs”, monitor your surroundings, they are catching up with you – they have “the” power tool.
To have a better understanding on Cloud Computing and to understand how to derive maximum benefit of the technology you can refer to an interesting book "Cloud Computing by Mr Ashwini Rath".