Taking on the cloud giants – how small businesses can disrupt big markets

Roger Nolan, CTO of cloud provider OnApp writes exclusively for CBR about what smaller organisations can do make their mark in the cloud hosting world

 Type ‘cloud computing’ into a search engine and you’ll find plenty of well-known technology companies offering cloud services, including the likes of Amazon, Google and Rackspace. But are they your only option?

With the resources and infrastructure to drive the introduction of cloud services, these companies have certainly helped to raise the profile of cloud computing. However, they have largely targeted highly technical and enterprise users.

As a result the cloud has typically been the preserve of large organisations with the technical and financial resource to engage with the giants of the industry.

This situation is changing, however. Smaller hosting companies are taking the fight to the largest cloud providers, and proving that cloud computing can be easy to use and affordable enough for small businesses.

One such company is Dediserve, an incredibly successful cloud host that grew its business from zero to €1m in its first twelve months. About 70% of Dediserve customers are businesses in the UK and Ireland; the remainder are based in the US and elsewhere in the EU.

Dediserve offers two main categories of cloud hosting. Cloud Machines are simple, scalable public cloud services that tend to be used by smaller businesses and web design/development outfits.

These companies typically “move to cloud hosting to replace their own legacy IT, a previous-generation VPS or co-location hosting service,” according to Dediserve’s Managing Director, Aidan McCarron.

At the other end of the scale, they have a Virtual Data Centre service that offers businesses their own private cloud resource. This tends to attract larger enterprises, says McCarron, who face “a simple choice: to invest heavily in the hardware and skills they’d need to build equivalent functionality in their own data centre, or to buy the resources they need from us for a low monthly fee.”

AscenTrust, for example, is a Dediserve client that provides outsourced financial management services. It uses the Virtual Data Centre service as a more flexible and cost-effective way to manage bookkeeping and payroll processes for a team distributed across the world. Another example is SpamTitan, an anti-spam specialist that now provides a cloud-based on-demand service, hosted in Dediserve’s cloud.

With cloud services starting as low as €40 a month, attractive pricing is certainly one reason why cloud services are growing rapidly for companies like Dediserve. For businesses running key processes in the cloud, however, price is never the primary concern.

Dediserve has built a ‘true cloud’ of its own, with functionality equivalent to that offered by the largest providers: highly scalable and resilient; key features like auto-scaling and automatic failover; and a graphical interface that makes it easy for end users to configure and control their cloud service.

It’s this combination of simple and affordable, without compromising on functionality, that’s creating so much disruption in the established cloud market. Behind the scenes, Dediserve runs its cloud on software from OnApp - a turnkey cloud platform that enables smaller service providers to compete with the big cloud brands without having to invest large sums in software, infrastructure and customisation.

At OnApp we’ve completed more than 800 cloud deployments for service providers since we launched in mid-2010. There is still a techie bias to in cloud adoption: application and web development, in particular, are very easy to move to the cloud, since sandboxed development, web development and testing are very well suited to a cloud environment.

However, we’re definitely seeing interest grow in other sectors. In a recent survey we conducted of global cloud providers, 49% expected small businesses to generate the most cloud revenue in the next 12 months. Breaking it down by sector, 42% expected to see growth from IT companies, 39% from financial services and 30% from retailers.

As more service providers develop their own cloud offerings, enterprises will have more choice in their cloud provider, and more small businesses will be able to move to the cloud for the first time. Taking the fight to the cloud giants creates more choice and competition, and that’s always a good thing.

Fonte: http://www.cbronline.com/blogs/cbr-rolling-blog/taking-on-the-cloud-giants-how-small-businesses-can-disrupt-big-markets-121211

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