These are challenging times for startups. While your company is warming up on the start line, your competitors are already racing ahead. To succeed, you’ll need to catch them up. Adopting cloud technology from the outset is one of the key ways to achieve this. It provides the IT resources and infrastructure to accelerate your attack on the marketplace and compete with larger companies on a level playing field. Here are the reasons smarter startups use the cloud.
Financially, it’s the right decision
The enterprise-level IT resources you’ll need to compete in the modern marketplace don’t come cheaply. In-house datacentres that can cope with big data analytics, heavy traffic websites and resource-hungry applications need expensive hardware. There will also be costs for software licences, datacentre premises and expert IT staff. The high costs of developing such an infrastructure in-house can be a serious obstacle to your company’s progress.
Cloud technology offers an entirely different approach which eradicates many of these expenses. By using the infrastructure of a cloud service provider, there’s no requirement to purchase servers or pay for housing and other associated overheads. At the same time, the managed services provided by a host means staffing requirements can be kept to a minimum. Even software can be less expensive, with many cloud-based apps being open source and service providers offering proprietary software licences at lower costs.
The result is that adopting cloud services, like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), gives startups a way to compete with more established companies from the outset and at a fraction of the cost of developing a system in-house.
Cost-effective operational agility
The financial benefits of the cloud don’t end with the adoption of the service provider’s infrastructure. The cloud’s pay as you go payment model also delivers long-term savings and ongoing agility. This is because the cloud offers unlimited scalability: if you need additional capacity within your system, it can be deployed at the click of a button. All the resources you require, whether that’s bandwidth, CPU, RAM or storage space are instantly available whenever you require them and for as long as you need.
This provides two important benefits for startups. Firstly, you only pay for the additional resources when you use them; there’s no requirement to upgrade long term. If you don’t need them anymore, you can simply scale down and stop paying for them. This cuts your IT expenditure and gives you greater control over it.
The second benefit is the agility that comes from having such enormous IT resources instantly at your disposal. This provides the ability to react quicker in the marketplace and deal with unexpected spikes in demand without having to worry about capacity. Doing this in-house would require the purchase of additional expensive hardware that would spend most of its life being redundant.
Overall, the scalability of the cloud gives startups the same capacity and agility as their competitors without having to buy the hardware or lease it over the long term.
To survive in the modern business world companies need to be able to act quickly. Beyond providing additional resources at the flick of a switch, it can also speed up development. Entire infrastructures can be deployed quickly, as can the latest advanced technologies, such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The popularity of the cloud means there is a wide and growing range of open source applications designed for cloud systems that work straight out of the box and which can be put to use in minutes.
For new companies reacting to changes in the marketplace or developing new products and services, the cloud reduces time to market, helping you outperform competitors reliant on in-house systems.
Frees up IT staff
Ambitious startups need their IT staff to focus on business improvement projects. With an in-house infrastructure, the time needed to work on these projects will be reduced because the staff will also need to manage and maintain the system on a day to day basis. As cloud service providers offer a managed service, the bulk of this work is taken care of on your behalf. As a result, your IT staff have much more time and freedom to commit to the workloads that are going to drive your company forward.
Building a business on secure foundations
Security is an issue faced by all businesses and one that can be extremely challenging for in-house datacentres where the cost of developing secure systems and finding the technical expertise to manage security can be major issues.
While the cloud cannot eradicate all your security needs, it does offer a very secure environment in which to develop your business. Spending on cloud security has increased dramatically, with service providers investing heavily to protect customers. With next-gen firewalls featuring Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and In-Flow Virus Protection, VM backup, replication and continuity, hardware and network failure protection, DDoS prevention, email security and security policies that help businesses comply with regulations, startups that choose cloud from the outset can remove many of the security hurdles other companies have to leap over.
The redundant and hyper-converged architecture provided by your host ensures that their cloud virtual machines are protected from hardware and network failure. Built for high availability, they separate storage and compute and allow servers to float between physical hardware locations. This means that your mission-critical applications will always remain available, even if there is a failure elsewhere in the network.
For startups that cannot afford for their services to be disrupted, the cloud offers the ideal solution. To achieve this level of availability in-house would require significant capital investment.
No migration issues
The benefits offered by the cloud means increasing numbers of businesses are migrating to it. Studies show over 80% of enterprises use it to run at least some of their applications. Migrating from an in-house system to the cloud can raise a number of issues that can be technically challenging, prolonged and costly to fix. Startups have a unique advantage here. By adopting cloud from the outset, they forgo the problem of migrating from an in-house system completely.
The cloud is the ideal solution for startups, offering them many important benefits. It minimises spending on infrastructure, provides cost-effective, operational agility, speeds up development and deployment, improves security, ensures mission-critical apps are always available and removes the headaches of migration.
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