Four Reasons Small Businesses Should (and Will) Build Their Own Cloud

The hype of cloud growth and “big data” has spurred the entrance of thousands of firms working to provide infrastructure, platform and software solutions to nearly every level of IT management. An industry still unsure of itself with a large amount of growth potential will continue to see shake-out. But plenty of room remains for start-up and investment in tools and solutions as the expected market size rounds in the three-figure billion range.

Many a cloud and online storage blog also agree the industry is at a proverbial tipping point. Cloud adoption for the masses is where personal computing was 20 years ago and as the SMB is able to assimilate and adapt. My personal take is that if even some of the researchers may be surprised at the size of the market. Certainly there will be growth silos, those ever-ready areas that grow up as independent unpredictable monsters. But we’ll certainly see an increase in demand for hardware-agnostic software tools that pool, connect and leverage other solutions in a unique hybrid so as to leverage all the areas of SMB investment in the cloud. Here are four reasons why.

Cost Savings with Hybridization

Today’s IT professionals are working with increasingly complex systems, combining differing providers and solutions for internal, external and hybrid clouds. Cloud hyperbole will not negate the need for internal cloud infrastructure. With internal IT architecture remaining as a key component of even the smallest corporate cloud, building internal hybrid clouds which combine and pool with internal resources will only grow as a market.

While internal IT architecture growth will certainly be dwarfed by external clouds, big data’s footprint will also push demand for internal growth as well. With such growth, demand for affordable solutions will reach a crescendo. When the SMB decides to invest, there will be several options available including cloud hardware, hw/sw combos, and hardware agnostic software.

In the event of the hyper-SMB with employees <20, the external cloud can be the most convenient and cost effective. As volume needs begin to scale, external clouds can more easily follow suit. For those looking for more control in-house, a custom-build cloud can be the most cost effective option.

Purchasing a bundled hardware/software combo from Dell or HP may provide peace of mind, but vendors leverage branding as much as possible with higher margins. Luckily, internal/external cloud hybridization will bump demand for at least some internal control and storage. As that takes place, bare-bones server hardware with some type of online storage software will be the ideal scenario as a cost saver.

Nearly Every Business is Morphing into IT

Think for a moment about the size of the IT department within your own company. Does the percentage of IT personnel make up a large portion of your internal staff? Demand for both internal and external tools will continue to see growth, especially as IT departments’ ever-increasing roles within organizations mount.

In nearly every sector “big data” is having its effect, as employees create large amounts of documentation through collaboration. Finance, operations and marketing will find benefit from easy accessibility to work and scalability offering by hybrid cloud pooling. And, as security

Control & Security

When you go anything-as-a-service you often surrender control of at least some security and data control. This is not the ideal scenario for many a cloud adopter. Recent surveys have indicated control and security remain a going concern, helping to thwart a potentially more rapid adoption of “the cloud.” A recent article I read indicated that even Woz of Apple’s Steve n’ Steve fame shares the same concern over moving from the private arena to a more accessible public cloud. He recently cited studies where particular concern for cloud security is had among government entities, where security is absolutely essential. This is yet another reason to build your own cloud with commodity, off-the-shelf hardware and robust software.

Some rightly claim scalability, automatic updates and pay-as-you go investment options make a public cloud more attractive. While this is true, new features contained in hardware-agnostic software offerings now make it easier than ever to pool public and private resources and have access to automatic updates. All this IaaS can come without the added sacrifice of control when organizations decide to move 100% off-site.

Easier of Use

Gone are the days when complex infrastructure solutions require lower-level knowledge managers versed in the language of zeros and ones. Turnkey, out-of-the-box solutions will continue to push the work away from human capital and into servers and external support payments—in a sense the newest offerings are more truly representing as-a-service offerings.

Even the previously more complex IAAS folks are providing solutions built for more lower-level IT management. Next year we’ll most likely see a further increase in the depth and breadth of simplicity as developers cater more to the IT generalist, adding greater hands-on software maintenance and support pricing options as a buffer against potential problems and disconnects.

With evolving ease-of-use, ramped control and security advantages and substantial cost savings, many a cloud pundit are confident we will see the adoption of custom-built hardware + software hybrid clouds, ready to interact with some of the most popular IaaS and PaaS providers on the market.

This is a guest post from S. Jenkins. S. Jenkins is a financial writer and a software merger & acquisition expert with Deal Capital. He resides in Seattle, Washington. 

Photo source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/649833

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