In early 2011, Australian retailer Harvey Norman wanted to launch an online daily-deals business as rapidly as possible. However, executives faced a dilemma: if they over-estimated web site traffic, they could waste millions of dollars buying web site-hosting servers they did not need; if they underestimated traffic, the site would crash as soon as the business launched. To minimise operational risk, as well as capital expenditure, executives deployed their custom-built BiG BUYS retail site on the Microsoft cloud computing platform, Windows Azure. After just eight weeks of development, the launch proved straightforward, with executives managing web site infrastructure through an easy-to-use portal, increasing and decreasing capacity to meet customer demand. The firm’s cloud strategy has been swiftly vindicated, with executives able to accommodate site traffic peaking at 23 times normal levels at less than one hour’s notice. Having avoided risky hardware investments, the company only pays for servers used, ensuring the business’s costs of sale are directly related to purchases.