I am a big proponent of cloud computing for small business. Software as a Service (SaaS) and online backups are examples of cloud computing. Cloud computing gives small businesses powerful software at a very affordable price. Plus another great benefit is you don't have to bother with maintaining a server.
One of the biggest worries about SaaS is data security and reliability. Many traditional IT consultants continually remind people of widely publicized outages or data losses to help bolster their cause.
While there have been some well publicized downtimes at major cloud providers, I have always made the argument, that if server downtimes at small businesses received the same publicity, we would all quickly move to the cloud.
I remember studying about the availability heuristic in Psych 101. A common example of the availability heuristic is people tend to worry more about a plane crash than an automobile accident. Even though we are far more likely to be in a serious automobile accident we worry more about a plane crash. Why? Because when a plane crash occurs it gets so much media attention. We can easily remember news of a plane crash, but have difficulty remembering a auto wreck.
I believe the same principle applies to worries about cloud computing. When there is a glitch with a cloud services provider everyone knows about it, when a small business server crashes only a few people know about it. Even though we are far more likely to have our computer crash, we worry more about relying on the cloud for our services.
I'm glad I'm not the only one to believe this theory. Infoworld is running an article titled, "Your data is safer in the cloud than you think."