The internet is packed with information about cloud computing. In fact, here at GetVoIP we like to think we have a valuable contribution to make in that arena. When it comes to getting a coherent, big-picture, start-to-finish view of a subject, however, sometimes it’s hard to beat a good old book. We’ve taken a look at some of the hundreds of titles on the subject that were published in 2014, and made this list of the ten best cloud computing books for SMB owners.

The vast majority of cloud computing books are aimed at developers, data scientists, and other elite technical professionals. Finding great books that can benefit those on the user end of the spectrum can be a bit of a challenge. You don’t want the information dumbed down (at least not too much!) but you don’t have the time or inclination to wade through dense passages of esoteric detail. We think these ten books hit the sweet spot between informative and readable.
As befits the literature of a technological revolution, many of the best and most accessible titles that came out this year are presented in eBook format only. If you don’t have an eReader, never fear: the Kindle app will let you read any of these titles on your PC or mobile device.
Author: Michael J. Kavis​
Subtitle: Design Decisions for Cloud Computing Service Models (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS)
Don’t let the very official title put you off. This is a very approachable guide to choosing which cloud service model makes the most sense for your business. It’s a critical decision, and it helps to have experts on your side. This book begins with clear and detailed foundation concepts, building up to comparisons between types of service, and offers guidance about the technological and business needs you may have. It’s completely vendor-neutral, for unbiased advice, and the author has an extensive background in web-based start-ups, which gives him a strong base from which to understand the unique challenges of SMBs.
Authors: Sanjay Mohapatra and Laxmikant Lokhande
Subtitle: A New Framework for IT Strategy
Cloud computing solutions, in general, are relatively affordable, and becoming more accessible all the time. Understanding exactly what they will mean to your business’s bottom line, however, can be more difficult to uncover. This book lays out and develops an IT strategy for businesses who want to transition to the cloud while calculating the return on investment they can expect. If you’re in the process of evaluating your readiness for such a transition, the case studies and thoughtful advice in this book will be enormously helpful. Covering a wide span of industries and focusing on the common factors of success, this guide is a valuable support for businesses of all sizes.
Author: Joanie Mann
Subtitle: A primer on cloud hosting approaches for business applications
No IT background required. Just as the title says, this zippy, super-affordable little eBook is aimed at the layman. It’s essential reading for anyone who wants to come to grips with cloud technology terms and concepts but may not have the confidence to wrestle with more formal texts. By slicing through jargon, abbreviations, and complex ideas, this book makes cloud technology accessible and understandable by just about anyone. A great primer on what the cloud is, what it does, and how your business can benefit.

4. The Little Book of Cloud Computing, 2014 Edition

Author: Lars Nielsen

Subtitle: Including Coverage of Big Data Tools

Another cheap-and-cheerful eBook, this is a great place to start for practical information about cloud computing. It might be little, but it packs a lot of punch. This deeply revised edition of the national bestseller is chock-full of relevant facts about the cloud computing industry and its services, products, and potential. Covering all the latest developments and newest releases in cloud technology, it’s a great one-stop guide to what’s new, what’s important, and what’s on the way. Whether you’re brand-new to the cloud or a seasoned professional looking for a brief overview of the state of the industry, this book delivers.

Author: Kelly Goetsch
Subtitle: Bringing Elasticity to eCommerce

More and more companies these days are finding that eCommerce is a necessary–even inevitable–next step for their business. Whether you’re looking to expand a brick-and-mortar business online or launch an entirely new, completely internet-based eCommerce venture, this book has some valuable insight to offer. Comprehending how the cloud can change everything about selling online, being aware of the specific challenges and risks facing cloud-based businesses, and understanding the complexities of this infrastructure are all prerequisites for success. This clear, approachable guide will give you a solid foundation on which to build your eCommerce enterprise.

6. Cloud Computing Bible

Author: Denise Gonzales

Subtitle: A Practical Approach To Cloud Computing Security, Cloud Problems To Be Aware of and More

Another quick, affordable, and easy-to-digest eBook. The title might be a little big for its britches, but the information in this common-sense guide is so good, we’ll forgive it. If you don’t have a lot of time but need to come to grips with cloud computing security, this concise but comprehensive book will give you what you need. You’ll find all the basics clearly explained, along with smart tips on avoiding pitfalls while reaping all the benefits the cloud has to offer your business.

7. To the Cloud

Author: Vincent Mosco

Subtitle: Big Data in a Turbulent World

Less a technical guide and more a thoughtful overview of a phenomenon, this book makes great reading for anyone interested in the past, present and future of cloud technology. It takes a deep look at everything that underpins this rapidly-developing industry, and considers the possible consequences, good and bad. Written with great scholarly authority by a Harvard-educated professor of communications, media, and technology, the book nonetheless has an engaging and easy-to-read style. This is one to kick back with in the evenings.

8. The Cloud and You

Author: Michael Rees

Subtitle: The Cloud explained – exploit the benefits, avoid the pitfalls

If you want to start from the very beginning, this inexpensive eBook is a great choice. Written for individuals and small businesses looking for their place in the cloud, this sharply-written text offers a simple but thorough introduction to the technology. Expanded from a popular MOOC, all the information here has been specially designed and thoughtfully presented so that it is easy to understand. Including specific, practical guides to managing your relationship with the cloud, this is a wonderful resource no matter what your background.

9. Guide to Cloud Computing for Business and Technology Managers

Author: Vivek Kale

Subtitle: From Distributed Computing to Cloudware Applications

The title is a total mouthful, but the content in this book is crisp, clear, and immediately relevant to your real-life business applications. Devoted to demystifying the cloud, the book gives you a solid overview of the history and technology of the cloud, without ever getting bogged down in gratuitous detail. Subjects such as architecture, integration, performance, monitoring, management, measurement, and (last but not least) security are all covered. You’ll also get a solid picture of some of the major players, and a smart guide to choosing both service models and vendors.

10. CSA Guide to Cloud Computing

Authors: Raj Samani, Brian Honan, Jim Reavis

Subtitle: Implementing Cloud Privacy and Security

This one is a little more specialized than the rest, but the subject matter is of such great importance that we think it’s worth a read by anyone invested in IT security. Huge advances are continually being made in the way cloud technology deals with issues of privacy, security, and compliance. This comprehensive guide from the Cloud Security Alliance is an industry-leading resource with up-to-the-minute information on best practices, professional insight into current research, and a coherent analysis of future goals and challenges. A practical, powerful, and readable book that deserves a place in your library.

So there you have it: ten great books on cloud computing that will set you up for the new year and everything it might bring. Some of them lead towards the serious texbook side of the scale, and others are short, easy reads you could polish off in an evening: any of them will enhance your comfort with and understanding of cloud computing.