Factors Making Cloud Computing Difficult To Convert Into A Utility For Small Businesses
Cloud computing use has increased phenomenally over the last years. Businesses use it for different functions and the results are tremendous benefits in efficiency and cost incentives. However, managing expectations remains a challenge to cloud computing. Compared to other services—like electricity, water, and other utilities—the adoption of cloud computing is different.
While businesses can easily switch providers for the above utilities, they cannot do the same with cloud computing service providers. This could be a reason for the slow adoption of this technology despite its many benefits for businesses. Other factors that impede cloud computing from becoming a utility for businesses are discussed next.
1. The nature of the service
The nature of cloud computing and other business utilities like electricity is itself the leading cause of the divide. The demand for cloud computing services, according to many cloud analysts, would be higher if businesses bought it like a utility. However, cloud computing has not yet developed to a level where it can be accessed like other services.
2. Different cloud services
Cloud computing involves many services, applications, and functions that can be accessed remotely, some of them being complex. This is why commoditizing cloud computing and selling it as a utility is difficult. If the cloud was a single function, it would be easy for businesses to deal with it like a utility.
3. Making cloud computing a utility is expensive
Naturally, each cloud computing service costs money, just like any other local service. The only difference is that it’s on someone else’s server. The costs of customization are high. Sudden shifts would require specialized skills, new infrastructure, and many other changes that would increase costs for the providers. Customers getting in and out of the service would imply extra costs. As such, small businesses have to buy into the cloud when they need it. This makes the service slightly more rigid than regular utilities.
4. Different provider needs
There are many cloud computing services and vendors. Some of the providers have packaged their offers as utilities for cloud consumers. This is because some services can be offered with customizations that are close in operation to utilities. However, the majority of cloud computing services are yet to be scaled up to commodity levels.
Even with the fast growth rates witnessed in by cloud computing services, turning the cloud into a utility may still require time before it can happen.
By Walter Bailey
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