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Why Startups Need Cloud for Growth | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

We have known and understood the benefits of cloud for quite some time now

Cloud for Startups - Why Cost Savings Is Not the Only Factor Driving Growth

In a recent article on the Entrepreneur, Bask Iyer, the CIO and Senior Vice President of Technology at Juniper Networks responded to the question, 'what entrepreneurs should put in the cloud?' His answer: "Everything." Bask elaborates by pointing out the ability of cloud to scale-up and scale-down at ease, the ease with which you can deploy plug-and-play cloud solutions for almost everything and its ability to offer a level playing field to companies, big and small.

We have known and understood the benefits of cloud for quite some time now. However, one reason a lot of entrepreneurs flock to cloud-based services for their business is the cost. Native applications require licenses that are either too expensive or require elaborate set-up across all devices. Cloud services are not only instantly accessible over a web browser, but also cost a fraction of software applications.

Problems with the Cloud
The question is, is the cost factor causing a confirmation bias in the minds of entrepreneurs who may gloss over the other areas of concern with respect to the cloud? While data security is one topic that has been discussed ad nauseam, other problem areas for the cloud are its extreme dependence on an internet network (depending on the requirements, apps may need a high speed connection), limited features vis-a-vis native applications (cloud applications do not always have all the features present in their native variants).

There is an element of truth here. Mobile cloud computing has often been touted as the way forward for emerging economies that may have skipped the desktop internet revolution. However, these are countries with an underdeveloped internet infrastructure. The need for constant and high speed internet networks may undo the benefits that cloud may bring to these users.

Pros for Startup Businesses
However, the fact is that the pros far outweigh the cons as far as cloud-based services go, at least for startup entrepreneurs. Take the example of a bootstrapped startup in India that is looking at customers from the west. Traditionally, such entrepreneurs would not have the luxury of traveling abroad to showcase their wares. Today, cloud collaboration ensures that they could use an online webinar service to demo their service online to their prospects - the operational cost savings in this case are immense for a starting up business.

Redundancy in networks has doubled up data security on the cloud while automation has increased productivity among businesses. For instance, with an online invoicing tool, businesses can minimize operational tasks and increase productivity by integrating time tracking with invoice generation. Such cloud services have made it unnecessary for startup businesses to hire full-time accountants who will need to manage these accounts.

In a nutshell, cloud based tools are today important to start-ups not only from a cost benefit perspective, but also due to the productivity enhancement that they offer and the collaborational opportunities that they provide. Moreover, as bootstrapped start-ups move away from traditional offices to a virtual environment, cloud based platforms to communicate and collaborate are no longer a fanciful cost-saving investment, but also a desperate need.

More Stories By Harry Trott

Harry Trott is an IT consultant from Perth, WA. He is currently working on a long term project in Bangalore, India. Harry has over 7 years of work experience on cloud and networking based projects. He is also working on a SaaS based startup which is currently in stealth mode.

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