SMB IT will never die

The Cloud.

It’s all the “future” of technology according to many.

What these doomsday prophets fail to include is a little bit of market research.

How we use technology in our personal lives and businesses is as unique to each as anything else. I don’t use Outlook or Gmail the same way as the next person. The company I work for hasn’t upgraded key pieces of software where others have. You can’t prescribe or for that matter accurately predict what technology needs will exist or not exist in the future. Not 1, 2 or even 10 years down the road.

We’re good at dwelling on exceptions. When Apple releases a product that isn’t stellar and game changing, we wonder an awe: ‘why?’ The fact that iPhone has been so successful is not the norm – it’s the exception.  Others will follow suit and try to mimic or even innovate how Apple created a superstar, but few will pull it off.

Nobody is telling a small business that likes their AOL email and dot matrix printers that they must change. If that is their perogative, they will do it as long as is possible. Consider that a company’s luddite process could be a critical component to a much larger picture. Either it’s an important piece of how that company does business or a savings or comfort that allows them to focus finite resources elsewhere.

If you put all your data into a cloud storage respository and it’s erased or corrupted, it’s going to cost someone some money to put it back – most likely you. You cannot have control over how it’s put back and evolve a solution that is suited to your company’s business process in the cloud. You’re stuck with whatever means you’re given to get back to work. A plan B can’t include technical innovations you can create in your own data center.

Perhaps you don’t care for the iPhone. You’ve had the same Palm device for a long time and it works well. Frankly, the iPhone would be too distracting to you. You value quality of life over being an early adopter. Do you think a big cloud provider is going to support that old Palm? Good luck. No iPhone or Blackberry? No service.

Companies and individuals still need IT experts that can provide custom services that work for them. One size fits all does not fit all. Will it cost more? In some cases, sure. But you may be shocked to find that your long term technology expenses are drastically lower when you let a geek do their best in making something work for a very long time the way you want it to work.

As such, I predict heartily that the IT department of small and medium sized companies will never entirely go away. Sure, it may be downsized and gentrified from time to time. But it will never die.

Greg

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