This post is in response to the article here:
Besides comparing one's small to business to other's, such as competitors, there is also the need to discover what is hype and what is not. Finding the pearls so to speak.
What's critical to an astute small business owner is having folks around them that are able to help them get past the hype to discover what is best for their business. This is especially true when it comes IT in SMB.
There's a lot of noise out there right now about the "Cloud being the best for SMB". Even posts in your blog and content on the Microsoft Business Hub site seem to make the Cloud a priority for small business before on-premises e-mail and collaboration systems.
This despite the message in this particular post that states On-Premises is a legitimate option for a small business.
Putting IT into a business, whether Cloud and/or On-Premises, is not like buying a car as much as Cloud proponents try to make it seem like a car buying experience.
In the end a small business needs to be a lot more agile in their use of the IT tools at their disposal than SME or Enterprise. Small businesses need to be able to make changes and customize their IT tools in ways that a "One Size Fits All" Cloud solution cannot provide.
On-Premises will always have the advantage over Cloud of being highly customizable to the _specific_ environment needed by a particular small business.
At some point the astute business owner will tune out all of the Cloud noise and look to their IT Trusted Advisor for direction. And that's a key differentiator in SMB businesses. The _astute_ business owner sees IT as a set of tools to further their business's goals. The consumer like business owner sees IT as nothing more than a necessary expense.
We Trusted Advisors aim our services at the former business owner not the latter one because we speak the same language in our small business attitudes and directions. We _understand_ each other in a way that larger IT companies and On-Premises/Cloud vendors may not get.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book