Every business uses technology at some level, and every business has certain fundamental needs which are most frequently met through the use of computing technology. Regardless of business type or size and independent of industry orientation, there are 3 fundamental things which every business does which means that there are 3 fundamental application types or solutions which every business will buy at some point. These 3 application types, which could be distilled down to just “applications”, have become so broadly used in business and so widely recognized as the standards that their names are often used instead of the term representing the functionality they provide. When it comes to cloud computing for small business, it’s all about these 3 applications.
In what are now referred to as “legacy” or “traditional” models, these products would generally be purchased as software and associated hardware to run it, and would be installed and managed on the local premises. With cloud computing models, the solutions may be purchased or subscribed as managed infrastructure and application licenses, or as a full service subscription (SaaS). Regardless of the service model, the applications are the key to the customer win. While cloud computing may be challenging how IT products and services are sold and delivered to customers, it is not fully impacting which solutions customers are actually looking for. Over the past 16 years this has been the reality, and it may take another decade before these products are unseated from their top positions simply due to the inertia of the installed bases they’ve already developed. Service providers have found (or will find) a way to deliver these applications in cloud computing style, or small businesses will simply not move everything to the cloud very quickly. It is really just that simple, and I’ll explain why.
The three things that each and every business does, and which they generally purchase computers and software to facilitate, are communicating, producing information, and keeping score.