Advantages of Using the Cloud As a Start-up By Chris Smith

Day-to-day computing is shifting more and more towards the cloud. Even for applications which used to be firmly ‘earth-bound’, we are seeing a shift towards online platforms.

This trend has many advantages for businesses of all sizes, but it’s especially useful for start-up companies. As LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner explained, the cloud “makes it easier and cheaper than ever for anyone anywhere to be an entrepreneur and to have access to all the best infrastructure of innovation.” This means new businesses are able to keep up with the big players in terms of technology, and perhaps even respond to changes more quickly than a larger firm might be capable of.

This article looks at five main reasons why start-ups can benefit from being cloud-based.

Less capital needed

One of the biggest advantages of cloud computing for start-ups is the reduced IT costs, which means you don’t need as much capital to set up shop. By not having to invest in your own hardware, you also save money on associated costs like onsite storage, energy and cooling, maintenance, IT staff, upgrades and more. This means you only need to pay the monthly cost for your required capacity to a cloud provider. You might also get some extra benefits from your provide – for example 24/7 onsite IT support and spare parts and backup generators, which would be very expensive for a start-up to maintain, are often included in the cost.

Scalable

Another reason the cloud is ideal for start-ups is that it’s scalable, that is to say it can grow you’re your business as soon as your needs change – even temporarily. It’s quick and easy to increase or decrease the amount of storage and services at the click of a button. For example if you’re running a particularly successful promotion which increases traffic to your site, it can still cope with demand instead of crashing. There’s also no need to try and predict your requirements in advance, so unlike having to try and estimate this to make sure you buy suitable equipment if you were using your own hardware, you can start with an amount you think would suit and change it once you’re more able to gauge your needs.

Fail faster

It might not sound like an advantage, but using the cloud can help a business to be more agile and fail faster, which can make it more appealing to investors. Andre Pienaar is the founder of C5 capital, an investment firm which specialises in technology and cybersecurity. According to him, if your start-up is cloud-based “you can fail much faster and then still have space and time to pivot and restart.” This is partly because you can launch more quickly, but also because you have fewer physical assets to worry about, and you can scale back to the bare minimum if need be to continue operating. Unlike a business that’s already invested in all the equipment, it’s much easier to go back a few steps, or even back to the drawing board, if something isn’t working out as planned.

Access anywhere

The flexibility the cloud offers to businesses is one of its most useful features for start-ups. It can be accessed across a variety of devices and from anywhere with an internet connection. If you’re a fledgling business, you might not have proper premises yet so it wouldn’t be practical to store your own hardware, whereas the portability of the cloud means the business can run from a spare room, co-working space or even a coffee shop. It’s also helpful for outsourcing and collaborating across the world, because everyone is working from the same, most up-to-date files rather than having to keep track of version numbers. It also means your employees can work while travelling or commuting and remotely from home, which is an appealing perk to be able to offer when hiring.

Backed up

Cloud providers often guarantee 99.9% uptime, which means their servers are up and running almost 100% of the time even in the event of a problem like a power outage, internet connection problems or equipment failure. They have provisions in place for all of these possibilities, as well as generally backing up data in other locations so that it can be recovered whether a natural disaster destroys the facilities or the data is lost for some other reason. This is very reassuring for business owners, especially in the more precarious early days where a set-back like loss of data could mean huge losses if there isn’t enough of a reserve.

The cloud offers many advantages to start-ups, especially in terms of cost and convenience. It also means that new companies are on a more even footing with bigger, more established competitors in terms of technological capabilities – without the extra capital requirements. Rather than having to grow gradually because of financial restrictions, you can quickly scale up in the cloud if the opportunity arises.

via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://bit.ly/2Lb5SmH

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