Is this the end of an era? Will Cloud Computing separate the "boys from the men"?

Had an interesting discussion today at lunch with the owner of an IT support company in Brisbane and the owner of a niche specialist IT provider for the retail industry about the effect has and will have on this part of the IT industry.

The discussion really started when somebody asked about our experience with migrating from Exchange based email services to Google apps based services. And Scott made a valid point: the small IT support shop around the corner that services the Small segment will really feel the change in the market.

Ask yourself the question… seriously… if you had to start all over again, and set up IT systems for your business, would you purchase proprietary software or would you start off with Google Apps for your email, word processing, basic spreadsheets, intranet pages, etc?

I know what I would do.. we did it a few months ago: we no longer use Microsoft Exchange Server. We no longer need the IT support that goes with managing email ID’s etc. That could amount up to a massive cost saving for the small business owner, but what will it mean for the small IT shop?!?!

The only way to succeed in this industry (imho) is to be amazing with your services. Your clients will want to stay with you – not for the money, but for the unparalleled service which they can NOT get anywhere else!

Technology is replaceable for something with the exact same features and benefits – service is not.