While there are some similarities, businesses generally leverage information technology in differing ways depending on their size. Larger enterprises rely on specialization in their staffs — with advertising and social media experts working in marketing, technology wizards working in the IT department, and number crunchers working in accounting. Many small businesses don’t have this luxury, however, as key personnel wear many different hats trying to accomplish the roles of an entire department, especially when considering technology usage.
Scale is another obvious difference between organizations of different sizes. This also is reflected in the variety of use-cases around technology implementation and usage between enterprises and the one-person shop. Two technology areas where this variety is notable are the worlds of Cloud Computing and Virtualization.
Cloud Computing Helps Organizations of All Sizes Focus on their Business
Cloud Computing continues to revolutionize how companies of all sizes use their IT. The technology’s adoption rates are through the roof and continue to grow. No matter how a company uses the Cloud, in general it allows organizations of all sizes focus on the core components of their business, while letting the IT experts do what they know best — technology.
Small companies use Cloud offerings for a wide array of reasons, but simple backup and storage functionality is one of the leading uses. The popular personal Cloud backup website, Dropbox, even has a service offering aimed at small businesses that adds file sharing, versioning, and collaborative functionality to its normal backup and storage features.
Larger companies, on the other hand, leverage the alphabet soup of Cloud-based “as a Service” products (Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), etc.) to out-source significant, enterprise-level IT functionality to companies specializing in Cloud Computing as a product. These large organizations benefit from the cost-savings and operational efficiencies garnered by the prioritization of their own business processes knowing that their IT is being managed by experts in a secure, always available Cloud-based environment.
Virtualization Helps Larger Enterprises Scale more Easily
Larger companies tend to benefit more from the advantages offered by Virtualization. It allows those companies to leverage their technology investments to scale more easily than with hardware-only servers. In the highly competitive environment of today’s business world, these advantages are vital in the “battle of the biggest” firms.
But more recently, smaller to medium size businesses also are taking advantage of the flexibility offered by Virtualization, especially when considering the disaster recovery scenarios that impact businesses of all sizes, but could spell a death-knell for smaller firms unable to take the hit of being offline for a period of days or weeks. Other small business use-cases are similar to enterprises, but focus more on taking advantage of existing hardware infrastructure than the issues of scalability found at the enterprise level.
While there are some similarities with how small and large businesses leverage information technology, the differences remain notable. The scalability offered by Virtualization is more important at the enterprise level, but all organizations benefit from the added focus on their core business provided by Cloud Computing.