Silicon Valley startups are the most dynamic adopters of cloud computing and cloud enabled technologies. However, if we zoom out, and evaluate cloud adoption across startups in Asia-Pacific, and even Europe, it’s rather surprising to observe that cloud adoption is pretty slow. The reasons are manifolds – right from initial inhibitions of shifting from one tech platform to another, to lack of clarity around the core business benefits of making this shift. Well, cloud computing business benefits are not limited to large businesses or pure IT firms; even startups stand to gain a lot from them. Here are some irrefutable reasons for startups to adopt cloud computing.
No Capital Expenditure
Most cloud computing based services, right from data storage to advanced and niche software, are delivered via subscription models, wherein you pay a monthly or annual fee for the service being availed. This means there’s no mammoth capital expenditure towards buying server hardware and paying for its maintenance and upkeep. In fact, for tech startups, this is the biggest of cloud computing, because the biggest hurdle in terms of the product’s time-to-market (that’s the capital expenditure of expensive hardware) is eliminated. All you need to get started is a credit card!
Did you know –by end of 2018, the global cloud market will surpass $200 billion, and the affordability of cloud services is a major driver of this growth.
Maximum Uptime, and Continuous Improvement in Disaster Recovery
MTBF, that’s Mean Time Between Failure is a critical parameter for IT-dependent or core IT firms. With cloud computing, the MTBF is significantly shorter than otherwise. That’s because once your company gets comfortable with its cloud based service infrastructure, it’s possible for your to take system snapshots of all databases, servers, and IT deployments, and simply switch to these snapshots should something go wrong in the tech-infrastructure for your company. This quick shift to the last known good configuration means your business will rarely, if at all, suffer any downtime. Moreover, with machine learning and smart algorithms coming to the picture, your cloud deployments grow smarter with time, and can detect faults and initiate corrective action automatically, apart from automatically switching to healthy configuration to ensure business continuity.
If your applications are co-located or hosted with another vendor, you invariably need to raise a service request to add IT resources such as additional storage space and database servers for your apps. In most cases, these tickets are managed via a ticketing tool at the vendor side, and the process is rife with delays, and you often need to explain the same requirement to multiple engineers. With cloud computing model, the control is in your hand. All you need is to access the dashboard provided by the cloud service provider, and add or remove the IT resources you need to. For organizations that need to make IT resources decisions every day, this is a massive time-saver and convenience factor. Compare adding storage space within 5 minutes to waiting a week and talking to 3 engineers before getting it done.
In continuation to the convenient self-service mechanism of cloud services, startups can also benefit from the ease of scaling up that accompanies cloud computing. If your startup grows faster than you anticipated, cloud computing gives you one less trouble, because you can double (or triple, or more) your storage space, and add as many servers as needed, just by talking to the vendor and negotiating a good monthly pricing deal. No more need to invest in expensive hardware, no need to raise money to provide for expensive servers.
The Biggest Enabler of Collaboration for Startup Teams
Cloud computing inherently supports collaboration and better workflow management. For startups, where ease of collaboration and workforce management are critical enablers of success, cloud computing helps bring down walls, and connects geographically separated workers and colleagues like nothing else can. ISG Technologies and Verizon Enterprise Solutions are two organizations that have either sponsored or conducted surveys that prove how senior managers agree that cloud computing is an enabler for improved collaboration. By allowing employees to access organization portals and tools from anywhere (just by logging in to a web browser and accessing the cloud hosted tool), sharing data with each other without any restrictions (apart from those imposed under data security and access control policies), and collaborating on projects in real time, cloud computing drives efficiencies and synergies in startups like nothing else.
With these 5 distinct and mission critical business benefits under their grasp, startup teams can focus their efforts into channels that add real value to their businesses, rather than managing IT resources. This ease, affordability, control, automation, and long term approach can help startups beat competitors who chose to rely on traditional IT infrastructure choices.
Mauricio is the lead Cloud expert at Cloudwards.net, a data and user feedback driven comparison engine for cloud storage, online backup and VPN apps and services. In addition, he also loves producing educational videos and reviews to help people get the best services for their needs. Get in touch with him on LinkedIn and @cloudwards.