Industry Analysts predict an increasing demand for Cloud Computing services in 2011.  But most of the press is around the large enterprise.  This segment of the market surely has a need for services from some of the large Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) companies.  But what about the Small and Medium sized companies around the world that have neither the time nor the inclination to sort through the technology to make the Cloud work for them?  They have two questions.  “How can I get my applications cheaper” and “Where is my data and is it secure?”.

Citrix solved for the first question twenty years ago and many Citrix Service Providers provide both Applications-as-a-Service and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) to thousands of SMBs today.  The word is getting out and more SMBs are signing up every day for these services.  Providing services for applications and desktops are one thing, but what about the actual data?  It’s no secret that many SMBs are using services today like Mozy, Dropbox and Carbonite to back up their data, but is that really the best way to secure the information critical to your organization?  Well it might be… and then again it might not.  Using third party off-premise storage is definitely one of the many ways in which to secure your data.  But pushing your data off-site does not make a Disaster Recovery plan.  And many SMBs don’t know that when a catastrophic data event comes (and it will) more than 80% of the companies never recover.

So as a business owner you are faced with the dilemma of figuring out how to use the Cloud with all of its economy of scale, but still have the responsibility of securing the data critical to running your business.  Make no mistake. Your data is more important to you than any back up service.  The question is, when your IT system crashes, how do you continue to operate your business without missing a beat?  Just sending your data off-premise will not get you there.

The good news is Citrix Service Providers use a technology called Single Instance Management.  It’s a way to insure all your data is available regardless of what catastrophic event might take place at your place of business.  How?  Well your provider can actually make it so that your data is securely set aside in their data center as a part of the application and desktop they deliver to you.  Make sure you ask for it and make sure your Cloud provider is using Citrix Technology.  Or who knows where your data may end up.