One of the more frequently asked questions by young entrepreneurs is should your startup use cloud solutions. There are entrepreneurs and business experts who suggest you should. And there are a few who aren’t entirely thrilled about the idea. For starters, let’s ask the questions why not. In this article, we’ll look at the pros and the cons of using cloud solutions for your startup.
Many budding entrepreneurs or people working in startups think that putting everything on cloud isn’t the safest bet. With large Internet corporations putting their resources on cloud, you know your data would be safe. With cloud solutions, you can easily find bugs and fix them really quickly. Cloud solution providers are definitely helping startups with such problems that would ideally take companies a very long time to fix. Now, that’s one reason that’s a good enough answer to your question, should your startup use cloud solutions.
With startups, one can never suggest the rate at which they may grow. Some grow relatively faster than many others. And with such growth, moving your organization’s data on cloud computing is the best way to stay organized. If you see your business scaling up more than what you had anticipated, signing up for cloud services will give you the flexibility through your scaling up times. Any small business needs the flexibility to expand and grow. With cloud solutions, you can give yourself the bandwidth for such growth. If at some point your business turns stagnant, you can cancel your cloud services. You can also cancel your cloud services if your business grows many folds and you can afford in-house solutions for data storage. It’s as simple as that.
The fact that you won’t need additional equipment maintenance and professionals that you may need to hire to help you with your data and resource storage, cloud computing is ideal. For a small startup, in particular it is. Think of it as a shared yet secure space where your peers store their resources too. With cloud solutions, you will only pay for whatever services you use and only when you use them. This is because you wouldn’t know how much storage space you might need to begin with and for what duration you may need it. It makes little sense for you to pay a big sum of money in advance for a service you may never use. That’s what makes cloud solutions all the more convenient.
Cloud solutions can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have good Internet connectivity. You can modify your data from any remote laptop, PC, mobile phone, and even tablet. Earlier when such storage was new to the Internet world, it could only be modified on a desktop computer. In today’s times, it isn’t feasible to be tied down to only one way of accessing and modifying your company’s data. Let’s say, for instance, you’re traveling and you need to make changes to your data that is stored on cloud. You don’t need to get back to your office to do it. You can do it remotely from any other location as long as you can get online. Accessibility makes everything happen at a faster pace and with convenience.
Should your startup decide to use cloud solutions, be ready to upgrade your Internet speed to the highest you can afford. Cloud solutions require high-speed Internet. You will also need your network capable enough of handling the load of heavy servers. All of cloud services run on the Internet, which means all your other work might see downtime or suffer some serious lag. As good as the services are, cloud can affect your work and your team’s productivity.
Cloud solutions may be reasonable to begin with for a small startup. You do need data storage solutions and this one surely would seem ideal. But in the long-term, the money adds up. You will need to pay the provider time after time as your business grows. And depending on the package you choose, the cost may increase with time. After a point, if you don’t have in-house solutions, cloud services will only bleed you financially. Many big companies start off with cloud and end up creating their own data storage solutions.
New or small startups cannot afford any downtime or outages. But sometimes it happens with cloud services. Recently, a giant email company went through an outage and almost 5% of users couldn’t access their emails online. That’s a big hit a small startup cannot take. If the vendor isn’t up to mark with their services, then you might not be able to get the service you need during such outages. You may end up spending a lot of money trying to get through to your vendor to make up for their lack in services. Be very careful while entering into an agreement with your cloud service provider to avoid such instances.
If your startup uses managed IT services to use cloud, then you must be really lucky to get a good provider for the same. If in any case, the cloud server goes down, you will have no connection to your data whatsoever. As a startup, if you are using cloud services, relying on managed IT service providers is a gamble. There are other service providers that you should enquire about before zeroing in on one. Ask for testimonials from other small sized companies that use cloud solutions to get an idea of how others do it.
Security of your data does fall under pros as well as cons because it can go either way if you aren’t sure of your cloud service provider. Your data on cloud is largely on the Internet and can be accessed from any remote device. In case of a security breach on the cloud server’s end, your data may be compromised too. There are several cloud computing vendors who talk about how secure their systems are and that the latest sophisticated security systems will not allow any kind of breach. But as we know, it’s the Internet and many big companies have paid their price because of a security breach. It’s better to be safe with in-house solutions than going online for your data storage.
If your startup uses cloud solutions, you will get into a vendor-client relationship with your provider. But with a number cloud computing vendors, the problem begins with after sales service. There isn’t much support you can get from them, particularly during times of crisis like an outage. In your agreement, make sure you have clauses that mention tech support and support for longer duration. So whenever there’s a problem, legally, they are bound to give you solutions.
Entrepreneurs who set out to start their own company opt for cloud solutions because that’s has been the norm for their predecessors. Many startups have indeed used cloud but have gotten out of it once their business grew. It’s all right to start off with cloud solutions as a young company. But as it grows, your storage methods also need to evolve.