Small business, “the cloud” and a love story

When I started my business career a few decades ago, a cloud was a fluffy mass of moisture meandering along overhead. Sometimes benign, sometimes menacing, but as the apex player in planet Earth’s hydrologic cycle, a cloud is very important.

Here in the Digital Age when someone uses the word “cloud” in a conversation, you have to check the context, because they might not be talking about the weather.  In the past few years, “cloud” has become the metaphor used to describe computing power and applications hosted on and delivered from off-site servers to your desktop or handset, instead of residing on your device.

Early in the development of the Internet, application service providers, or ASPs, were the first to deliver off-site processing power, but there was no umbrella term that described the concept. Today, we have several variations on the cloud theme: “in the cloud,” “cloud computing,” and of course, simply the “cloud.” And for small business, the digital cloud is becoming as important for success as its hydrologic namesake is to life.

So why do small businesses need to think of “cloud computing” as a big deal? Recently, on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked with one of our outstanding Brain Trust members about this.  Chip Reaves heads up the U.S. unit of Computer Troubleshooters which has over 230 CTS locations in North America, and he explained what he believes is the greatest 21st century tool for small business, cloud computing, including some of the key advantages and applications.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to Chip and me talk about cloud computing. Plus, you’ll hear how I used the ”cloud” to claim the title ”Love Doctor.”  Be sure to leave your own thoughts and ideas on how cloud computing has helped your small business. Listen Live! Download, Too!

4 Responses to “Small business, “the cloud” and a love story”

  1. 4
    Dallon Christensen Says:

    There was a great article in Entrepreneur Magazine on Tuesday showing how small businesses really need to look at netbooks for a portable, low-cost computing solution. I think the greatest benefit of cloud computing is that is can reduce hardware costs significantly.

    If I did not do so much work with audio and video as a part of my marketing efforts, I would use a netbook and use cloud computing almost exclusively. I’d only download work to my hard drive if I would either be in a location with no Internet or a location with only unsecured Internet (i.e. Panera or Starbucks). I use a MacBook Pro now, but I run nearly all of my operations (business plan, social media, etc.) on web-based software. I could run my business with a netbook as long as it had MS Excel on it (I do a lot of financial analysis work).

    The trend to cloud computing will only increase. The legacy software companies will see how more and more people are going to on-line solutions and will be forced to provide web-based solutions.

  2. 3
    Gourab Nanda Says:

    Cloud computing has been a blessing for small businesses who need to operate at maximum efficiency levels. Here’s a list of tools that are useful for small businesses utilizing a virtual work environment:

  3. 2
    Mike Says:


    Enjoyed the discussion, thanks.

    As a micro- small-business owner, it’s been doubly important for me to keep costs low. In a lot of cases, purchasing software is just out of the question (and budget) entirely.

    Some of the most useful cloud-based applications that I’ve been leveraging are Google Calendar, Gmail email, FotoFlexer Image Editor, and Google Docs (e.g. Document Editor). As simple as it sounds, Google has been an invaluable for me to store documents, remind me of appointments, and keep track of todos.

    Like you, however, I don’t full want to rely on the cloud 100%. I still regularly backup the data on the cloud to my hard drive.

    Thanks again.


  4. 1
    Jason Says:

    Cloud computing is such a great concept. It’s scary as all get out, too. It’s a fantastic tool to allow you access to your information/material/whatever from anywhere. I truly think the term “remote” would be better than “cloud”. I know why cloud has become the term djour, but I am not sure it’s a good example. Remote or Cloud it’s all a great tool.

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