The recent “Occupy” movements, which were assisted by the Social Web to create the critical mass, had an intended effort to highlight the resource disparity caused by big business to ordinary people, and small and midsize businesses.
This occurred at the same time that consumers and small-to-medium business were made heavily aware of the concept of “cloud-computing” and computing-as-a-service. In some ways, this can assist in making certain computing services that would be out of the reach of the 99% accessible to this group rather than the 1% which represents the “big end of town”.
When I visited the “Big Picture Experience” computing conference that was hosted by Microsoft in Melbourne this past Wednesday (AEDT), there was a lot of emphasis on this kind of cloud-computing and computing-as-a-service to effectively make a flexible workforce. Applications that were promoted included shared-document management and unified communications; with these applications linking to the business via Internet connections.
They even proposed that small and medium business who can’t afford their own servers have this functionality by renting these services from other companies in a similar way that we can rent disk space for our Web sites from Web-hosting companies like GoDaddy. It is also in a similar way to how some small business operators can work out of a garage yet are able to rent a self-storage lockup from Fort Knox or Big Yellow for storage of extra goods or hire a competent truck form Budget or U-Haul when they need extra trucks.
These concepts can open the door to the feasibility of smaller operations expanding without costing them an arm and a leg. It is because it could allow concepts like telecommuting or shared-desk business, which could lead to reducing the physical size of the business’s premises.
Cloud computing and computing-as-a-service can open up “big-business” paths to smaller operations. Examples of this may include hosted archiving-for-compliance or access to sophisticated business systems and practices like multi-tier loyalty programs for independent business.
This kind of computing can then become the big tide that lifts many boats up and yield flexibility across business sizes. In some ways, it could allow “big-business” hopes from small and medium business owners.