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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Web Apps now come in Small Business

Hello All, time for another MackByte...haha see what I did there.  For this post I wanted to take a minute to talk about Microsoft Azure, something that I've been working with a lot recently.  And while I've been working with the platform, I've really been impressed with all the capabilities it provides.  But what occurred to me is how much one particular group isn't aware of it.  And that group is small business.

In my current position the vast majority of the work I do relates to the medium sized to the large size applications.  That being said, one thing that has become increasingly clear to me, many of these businesses implement medium to larger applications as a way to automate processes, maintain consistency, and enforce business rules.  All towards the goal of cutting costs, and the almighty dollar.

Now it does occur to me that larger companies are not the only ones to experience the types of issues that these applications are built to resolve.  In many cases small businesses are just as likely to fall prey to this issue.  The biggest difference is that smaller businesses don't have the kind of money to lose to bad processes and inefficiencies.

But in many cases, small businesses never consider the option of utilizing web applications, or different software tools to minimize these types of issues.  And also in my experience they tend to avoid it for the following reasons:
  • Cost of Development:  Let's face it development work isn't cheap.  Many developers skills come at a pretty penny.  Honestly, finding someone who knows enough to build a solid application can be a difficult process.
  • Cost of Infrastructure:  Another barrier to entry for the IT solutions game is definitely the cost of hosting an application.  To by space to host a server, and a database, can costs $1,000's of dollars a month.  Money that many small businesses just can't afford to tie up given the risk. 
  • Lack of Technical Knowledge:  Finding someone to manage those servers on going, is ridiculously expensive.  
  • Licensing:  Let's face it, SQL Licensing and Windows Server licensing is not cheap.  I once worked with someone who used to say "When someone says the word 'Licensing', the price just skyrocketed."  
Well for Small Business, there is Microsoft Azure, which provides many fantastic services on the cheapallow I'm not trying to give azure free press.  But honestly, the fact is that small business can't afford infrastrucure.  Till you buy and license a server and pay for someone o maintain it, your talking probably 6 figures at least.  But with azure they make it possible for the infrastructure and backups to all handled for as low as $20 a month.  Seriously.  Then you can contract someone to do the work at a very affordable rate.  I'll be doing more posts on azure soon, especially since I am going for my MCSD: Azure.  But this is sort of my opening salvo on the topic.