It’s easy to think of the cloud as something applicable primarily to established and larger businesses. After all, we hear about major cloud migration projects all the time.
However, cloud computing has huge value to offer even the smallest and newest businesses. If you are a start-up unsure of whether to invest in cloud computing now or leave it until you have grown a little more, it is worth remembering that cloud computing models are absolutely made to support ambitious business growth.
The advantages of the cloud for start-ups
Cloud computing offers organisations of all sizes and across all sectors flexibility, agility and scalability. This is just as true for start-ups as it is for international organisations – which, when you think about it, is a nice boon for small businesses! It is rare that they are able to harness exactly the same benefits as their much larger cousins.
As far as flexibility is concerned, cloud computing offers a vast array of choices, with something for every need. A wide variety of major providers are available, including Amazon and Microsoft, each offering a customised set of options, so you can create a perfect-fit model with precisely the functions you require.
Indeed, from this point of view it is wise to consider that cloud computing models can grant start-ups access to the skills and expertise of the world’s biggest and best technology firms – but at a cost that is absolutely tailored to their own size.
From a scalability perspective, cloud computing enables applications to be provisioned at exactly the rate that the organisation in question requires, with no need for a hefty upfront investment in hardware or unnecessary licenses. Rather than being a one-size-fits-all model, it’s an everyone-sets-their-own-size model.
Cost and resource-effectiveness is typically a particularly salient concern for start-ups, since they have limited capital resources and need to ensure that what they do have is invested wisely. Cloud computing can avoid the need for substantial upfront investments in hardware or software, enabling you to focus attention on building a truly powerful humanresource.
Cloud strategy for start-ups
So with all that in mind, what is an appropriate cloud strategy for a start-up?
It is probably most appropriate to begin with software-as-a-service applications such as Google Apps and Dropbox. These have the advantage of being highly familiar among both staff and business partners, so there is little to know learning curve, and they dramatically improve your ability to share information and collaborate both internally and with clients or customers. They are readily available, highly supported and depending on your needs, you may even be able to use free packages initially.
As you grow, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) may become more relevant, offering you greater scope for building and developing your own applications and services.
Yet throughout, the core advantages of the cloud will remain. Choice and flexibility of functions, smooth and stretchy scalability as you grow, and a hugely cost and resource-effective approach to corporate computing.
Want to learn more about developing a cloud strategy for your start-up? Get in touch with Tern today.