One of the things I love best about trends are the predictable ways in which they evolve. Take cloud computing, which offers a major change from the server-based systems storage that has long been the staple of most businesses. The steps go something like this:
- New product/service is developed.
- Product/service gains considerable buzz.
- Product/service is declared next big thing, catches on with consumers.
- Product/service becomes entrenched in the mainstream.
- Survey of small businesses comes out, finding that most of them have never even heard of product/service.
History is repeating itself with cloud computing. A Newtek Business Survey found a downright staggering 71 percent of small businesses did not know what the technology was. Many thought it was actually using a cloud to compute. Okay, I made that up.
But this underlines the idea that small businesses, who spend their days worrying over a million different things and dealing with their specific customer bases in their specific communities, really don’t have the time or energy to put into keeping up with national trends. As a result, they miss out on things like cloud computing in the early stages, depriving themselves of an opportunity to potentially drive down costs and improve data security, which is what the systems are aimed at doing.
Humble efforts like the Newtek poll and our own little blog can help get the word out, but there really needs to be a better, more concerted way to deliver news of new technology to small businesses. The fact that it requires a buy-in and awareness of the service that will deliver that awareness means there’s a bit of a Catch-22 involved, but I do view it as vitally important. Hopefully those selling the technology will figure out a way.
Small businesses, please explore cloud computing. Let us know what you think of the technology.
Photo credit to somadjinn at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1344385
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