Cloud Computing: Fashion or Opportunity (for Small Businesses)?

It seems that the new fashion in IT world is the cloud computing (such as Windows Azure from Microsoft, some Google new services, part of Amazon old services). I heared a lot about this subject lately (including at the .NET Deep Dive event, hosted on Thursday by Mr. Ciprian Jichici in Cluj-Napoca). My personal opinion is that for the majority cloud computing is just a fashion: the cloud service costs are higher than the cost for similar services hosted and managed “on premises”. But this is true only for small companies (which form, in my opinion, the majority). For larger companies, costs may be balanced, and for some high companies, the cloud may be a good solution.

In theory, cloud computing is just like having electricity produced outside and delivered to our home by paying a cost. That cost is (usually) a lot lower than the cost needed to produce the energy ourselves, either from water, wind, or the sun light. Because that enegy production is done in an industrial way. OK, but this comes with an inherent limit: you cannot choose to have electricity coming to your home in a different format than the standard 220V, or similar value (depending on the location). The same way, clouding is limitative: for example, when .NET 4 launcges, is it expected that the cloud services to not support it, at least for a short period. If you would have your own in house IT, you could deploy .NET 4 and run it.

My personal opinion is that in IT this type of limitations would be the most important problem for actually accepting to work on cloud computing (it’s a big difference between eletricity and software, if we include innovative software here, and exclude infrastructure software, which could be hosted outside without issues). As I said, for small companies that want to be very dynamic and to be able to switch to the new technologies easily and faster (to obtain an immediate business advantage) than an industrial remote IT department could. Even larger companies may find this limit too bad.

What do you think about cloud computing? Are we prepared for it at global level, including small businesses? I would love to hear some arguments pro-cloud computing for small/personal enterprises, if you have any. (Except that some small business could produce and deliver services to be hosted in the cloud for larger companies – I mean advantages for small companies to actually use cloud services, not develop them.)

Note: This post was generated by reading this article (Romanian).

About Sorin Dolha

My passion is software development, but I also like physics.
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