Our organisation recently conducted a series of cloud computing workshops at The Business Show in Olympia aimed at small to medium (SMB) business owners and managers.

During pre-booking we noticed that the introductory workshops were signed up almost immediately whilst the more advanced discussions took longer to fill up.

It has since become clear to us that the wave of cloud computing and its commercial considerations are viewed quite apprehensively by SMB business owners. Below we have attempted to address the concerns in language most of us will understand:

The cloud itself is in fact lots and lots of computer servers located in inter-connected data centres all over the world. We access this cloud through a cloud service provider who can deliver 3 kinds of services to us:

Infrastructure: The outsourcing of computer hardware including networking to the cloud.

Platform: The management of key software including operating systems and databases in the cloud.

Software: The access of very specific software applications like ERP and CRM systems via the cloud.

In essence, cloud services can provide a level of business support that otherwise would not be considered affordable as an in-house alternative. Utilising the cloud allows businesses to remove the management cost and direct overhead of technology systems that in and of themselves are not key contributors to competitive advantage.

As an example: If Acme has 10 staff who needed to fly around the continent regularly, would it make sense to purchase a small aeroplane with all of the associated operations and staff?

Rather: Utilising the existing and mature aviation network would be less costly and clearly less of a distraction to the organisation as a whole. Admittedly, in this scenario, staff would have to plan meetings according to available flight schedules, but it just makes more sense!

Z-Lab are a local IT Services organisation based in South Kensington since 2002 and specialise in the provision of cloud services and business technology support.  Our service is tailored to the customer’s needs. Z-Lab are a leader in the provision of cutting edge solutions that just cost less and make more sense.


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