During the 1990’s dot.com era, uptake of online services and sales made a whole bunch of people very rich. It also secured the internet as the great equalizer in life, knowledge and of course business. Not only did the dot.com boom level the playing field, it left big business scouring the earth for Harvard drop-outs to teach them about the World Wide Web and scrambling to get with the times. It’s hard to believe these olden-timey days were barely 20 years ago, but this little bit of history seems now to be repeating itself.
Is Cloud Computing the Next Great Equalizer?
Here we are in 2013 and although cloud computing isn’t the game changer the internet was, it is having a similar affect-flattening the playing field between big and small business. Once big business got the hang of the internet (and the Harvard drop-outs got the hang of getting paid) they again surged passed the little guys. Deeper pockets meant better equipment, in-house servers and routers, and then actual Harvard graduates to attend to it all. Advantage big guys.
Implementation and maintenance of these systems was and still is so expensive that most small businesses went with the not so competitive bare minimum. With cloud computing SMEs aren’t bogged down by implementation, infrastructure and maintenance costs – and are instead free to create personalized online databases, websites and applications all hosted offsite for a low monthly fee.
Before cloud computing many small businesses poised to grow and expand simply could not. Despite demand the financial restrictions and limited staffing resources made it impossible, or at least very risky, for SMEs to keep clients happy while keeping their heads above water. Cloud CRM systems can now serve as savvy, punctual and obedient employees that track and manage client interactions adapting as business grows and spewing out performance data along the way. SMEs can also rely on the cloud to deliver supply chain systems and Website management allowing staff to focus on sales duties, client relationships and reporting up.
Online Databases & Cloud Computing for Growth
As companies grow from small to medium to butterfly, it’s important they enlist the services of expert evaluators and data analysts. Now, with online databases securely housed in the cloud, the early days of this Metamorphosis need not be fraught with a total lack of data validation. Most cloud computing service providers will guide and support businesses in the creation of a meaningful online database as well as custom applications designed to validate datasets and report back on productivity or effectiveness.
Landed a big client on the opposite coast? Good for you! Too bad they want to check-in via video conference every other week. A quality video conferencing system starts at $5,000.00 and Dog help you if you run in to a technical glitch 5 minutes before conferencing with your big fish. Cloud based video conferencing services allow businesses to send meeting invites through a link that confirms attendance and links participants to the group at the coordinated time either on their personal computer through programs like Skype, in a meeting room with polycoms and even a big fancy Cisco system.
Great business ideas and services shouldn’t go unnoticed because major corporations can afford to overshadow them. Like dot.com era, cloud computing allows everyone to be agile, get noticed, and if you’re lucky, be really successful and on day be purchased by Apple for billions of dollars.