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SMBs: Love Means Never Saying You’re Locked In

Love-Means-Never-Saying-Youre-Locked-In

The technology industry is rife with smart, vocal, and opinionated pundits. Ben Kepes is one of them, hitting the trifecta. His recent post opining on the cost and complexity of cloud-based applications for small businesses struck a chord. It’s a pain we hear more as organizations whose primary business isn’t technology make the shift to the cloud.

Ben is an admitted tech enthusiast, a long-time proponent of the cloud, and a believer that technology allows small and medium-sized businesses to move fast and compete against larger companies. That said, he also has a huge beef with technology vendors “who have sold us on the idea that these cloud tools will, magically, solve all our problems.”

I picture Ben pounding the pulpit as he drives this point home in the post: “[M]oving fast shouldn’t mean small businesses need to keep investing in a new tool every five minutes, it shouldn’t mean that they suddenly need to become software engineers and it certainly shouldn’t mean that their monthly spend for software suddenly grows exponentially.” 

Preach!

It should be simpler, a mantra we’ve had hardwired into our business philosophy since we started this company in 2003. We exist to democratize cloud computing— to make it simple, affordable, and accessible to everyone. Today, 17 years in, we hold steadfast to this commitment, one manifested in these fundamental principles of how we believe the cloud should work for people:

  1. No vendor lock-in. Linode infrastructure isn’t built on proprietary protocols. Here you are free to move your apps from one cloud to another without needing to change your tools and processes. In an industry where being locked into large proprietary clouds has a real impact on budget and control, it’s not enough to say you’re open. You have to be actually open.
  2. An extensive API and toolset. Our API supports everything from creating Linodes to opening support tickets. And you can use the tools you want to use, like Terraform, to get the job done.
  3. Developer and community focus. Unlike other cloud providers, we support all open source distros and don’t offer proprietary forks. We develop in the open too: Our Manager, CLI, and API documentation are all on Github and open source, and we work alongside the community to improve our software.

As Redpoint Ventures’ Jamin Ball recently pointed out, according to Morgan Stanley, only 25% of workloads are currently running in the cloud. Much like the growth of the internet itself, it’s still early days for cloud. Large enterprises with financial, technological, and human resources drove the innovation and success we know today. Small businesses will play a significant role in driving the next 75%. But that will only happen if the tools and infrastructure they need are within their reach.

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