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Charles Weaver, CEO, International Association of Cloud & Managed Service Providers

Charles Weaver, CEO, International Association of Cloud & Managed Service Providers

By Charles Weaver

The days of the cloud being used as an IT starter kit are over.

Small businesses are beginning to unlock the latent potential that lies within the cloud. They’re launching new products or expanding their offices and they’re turning to the cloud in increasing numbers to scale their computing systems to an organization can get up and running or move in new and innovative direction, in little to no time.

As small businesses embark on their cloud journey, the choices they make will have future ramifications for business and growth. One way is the limited, vendor lock-in commoditized cloud that will fulfill a one time transaction-based business with impediments in the future.

The other is the high-value cloud that does not require organizations to compromise on control, performance, automation, security or open standards. High-value cloud services are based on open technology standards, so customers are not locked into one technology; additionally, they’re afforded the ability to scale and transform for future growth.

Furthermore, cloud enables employees to access company data at all times, from any location, and using any device in order to quickly respond to customers, close a big deal, or simply handle daily operations. In a separate but equally urgent argument for smaller companies, moving operations to the cloud generates significant energy savings – and economic benefits – when compared to on-site hardware and IT.

According to IDC, the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion by 2015. With more people working away from the office, there will be a greater need for efficient cloud technologies to be just as productive as when you’re sitting in the office.

A successful career in IT may mean having a cloud-focused skill set and being able to think strategically on a big-picture level to meet rapidly changing business needs. In fact, cloud services growth is expected to contribute to 14 million new jobs, worldwide, by 2015.

In the move toward IT as a Service, IT professionals can focus on what they are often highly undervalued for in business – strategy and innovation.

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Charles Weaver is the co-founder and CEO of the MSPAlliance. In addition to running the daily operational operations of the association, he writes and speaks extensively around the world on issues and topics related to the managed services industry. Prior to founding the MSPAlliance, Mr. Weaver was an editor for an internet news organization with more than 140,000 readers. Subsequently, he led the startup of a software company that supported applications in the legal sector. Mr. Weaver has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Arizona State University and a Juris Doctorate from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. 
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