Virtualization of business services is a relatively new trend, with just the past few years introducing new methods to take advantage of cloud technology to protect data while simultaneously making it easier to share, facilitating business growth, and providing a general reduction in costs and increase in efficiency. However, many small businesses are wary of the initial costs associated with upgrading their systems, let alone the hassle involved. However, as pointed out in Daren Boozer's article for Virtual-Strategy magazine, businesses that don't take this leap into emerging virtual technologies will be left behind by those that do, and small businesses in particular have the most to gain from virtualization.
A significant gap already exists between those companies which have embraced emerging virtualization technologies and those that haven't, which will only grow as this technology becomes cheaper and more powerful. For example, the growing BYOD trend allows businesses to shift some of the cost of computing devices away to mobile devices that their employees already own, yet the extensive task of making sure that security settings will be able to handle the influx of new devices is a time-consuming and expensive process for IT teams. Still, these initial costs will be outweighed by the increased productivity associated with BYOD, as employees are proven to work much quicker and more efficiently on devices that they are already very familiar with, as opposed to having to learn on a new platform.
Additionally, mobile work forces are far more flexible, and are able to get work done on the go, whether they are at home, the airport, or simply on a lunch break. Telecommuting like this also allows businesses to better utilize the work of independent contractors and other outsourced talent, which allows these businesses to get much more work done in shorter periods of time.
Finally, the growing threat of Web-based attacks on business data is growing exponentially, with no signs of stopping. In 2013, the rate of these types of attacks increased by 91 percent. Older data networks and website protocols are vulnerable to these threats as hackers find new and creative ways to plunder sensitive information, but newer virtualization solutions protect this data while providing the infrastructure to share it within the company. Frankly, these reasons all make it quite clear that virtualization will be the status quo of the future, and that the companies that refuse to adopt it will slowly fade away.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson