The Cloud: Pros and Cons from an SMB Perspective

The Cloud: Pros and Cons from an SMB Perspective

Why do many small and midsize businesses continue to reject cloud-centric IT proposals from managed services providers? Vembu (the backup software provider), Forrester Research and RackSpace each (independently) provide some interesting theories. Plus, Vembu offers up four secrets to successfully selling cloud services. Here's a look.

In a recent blog post, Vembu points out the following:

  • Two-thirds of U.S. SMBs are not familiar with Cloud Hosting, according to RackSpace
  • Half of SMBs decline to embrace cloud computing because of security and privacy concerns, according to Forrester
  • A lot of SMBs don't understand the benefits of cloud services vs. traditional hosting services
Frankly, MSPmentor's parent (Nine Lives Media Inc.) went through a similar business exercise back in October 2009, when we started to migrate our web sites from a dedicated server to a cloud provider. Our motivation was simple: Our dedicated server was running out of horsepower and couldn't scale if/when we received bursts of traffic.

Our move to a cloud platform seems promising: Our virualized cloud systems actually costs dramatically less (on a per month basis) vs. the old dedicated server. And generally speaking, the cloud system seems to scale as our traffic grows -- though we have suffered a few very short (5 minutes or less) hiccups about four times since October 2009.

So why aren't more small businesses like us moving to the cloud? Vembu makes a good case that VARs and managed services providers have to talk more about the four clear benefits of cloud computing. They are Budget, Authority, Need and Time Frame (BANT). Check out the Vembu blog to see each of the four key benefits explained in deeper detail.

It's a timely read for MSPs that are (A) evaluating cloud strategies or (B) trying to strengthen their sales pitch to customers.

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