Vital in this economy
The cloud is the best thing to happen to small businesses since, well, since a long time ago. Software as a Service allows businesses to scale quickly and pull back in truly flexible ways that are vital in a post-recession economy and allow even the smallest of businesses to build international reach and access markets growing far faster than those in developed economies. Countless service providers have built their own businesses around managing cloud deployments, allowing many SMBs to set aside the hassle and expense of capital IT expenditures and management of on-premise technologies.
Although SMBs clearly need to be able to "talk tech", they don't need to do everything themselves anymore and certainly don't need to devote significant time or capital expense to technology issues. Rather, the cloud and related services allow businesses to focus on strategic maneuvers and the use of technology to advance their businesses.
IT become more strategic
Small companies should absolutely replace certain on-premise applications and infrastructure with cloud-delivered services. But that doesn’t mean they can cede every nuance of IT strategy to someone outside the company.
The bigger your company, the bigger the chances it must manage a hybrid IT environment that includes some on-premise technologies and some cloud-delivered services. That will require IT experts who can keep these hybrid environments running smoothly. It doesn't matter whether you tap an outside expert or someone in-house, you'll still need to assign someone to manage this function.
That's because SMBs will need to someone to provide holistic view of their IT infrastructure – regardless of where it lives. They will need someone to make sure things are working together and to address situations when there isn’t a seamless experience or when things break outright.
Certainly SMBs will be freed from many burdens of IT management, if they choose a cloud approach. If anything, that will elevate IT management to an even more strategic role within the company.