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A step-by-step startup cloud guide

Cloud computing

Establishing a startup is a difficult task; there’s no doubt about it. In fact, about 90% of the startups fail, which makes it an incredibly risky business idea. A startup’s success depends on how much it can bring to the table for a specific market. If you’re sure that your idea is innovative, then perhaps you should go with it. Still, founding a startup should be paired with using the latest technology to your advantage.

One of such technologies is Cloud computing, which has become one of the essential elements of digital transformation. If you look around, everybody is migrating to the Cloud, seeing that its potential is tremendous. There are many different forms of Cloud computing services, and choosing one depends on the characteristics of your business and industry.

Cloud computing services’ definition

Cloud computing involves facilitating a variety of services using the internet. From data storage, through programming infrastructure, to tools and applications, Cloud computing has many possible uses.

Cloud provides extensive big data analytics, app building platforms, DevTest environments, data recovery tools, and easy backup services. Now, there are different kinds of Cloud computing and services, and these can be divided in two ways.

Cloud services

SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)

SaaS put simply, is a way of selling applications over the internet. Most of the time, it is based on a subscription model, where you pay monthly or yearly for access to the app. There are many possible uses for SaaS. Most usually, it is used for business process and workflow optimisation and automation. The primary types include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software, Accounting Software, Project Management Software, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software, and Email Marketing Software. Generally, most startups use some type of SaaS in their business workings.

PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service)

PaaS provides software and hardware over the internet. Mainly, it’s used for application development by IT startups. The main advantage of PaaS is the fact that you don’t need any in-house environments, which makes it quite a cost-effective option, seeing that you pay as you use. The use cases involve APIs, business analytics and intelligence, business process management, databases, IoT, and data management.

IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service)

IaaS serves the purpose of a Cloud-based solution for data storage and computing. Since you don’t need to maintain the servers, it becomes a go-to solution for startups that want to scale up quickly. Most often, it’s utilised as a DevTest environment, website hosting, big data analytics, file recovery, and a high-computing space.

Cloud computing environments

Private

A private cloud involves using the servers’ resources only by a single company. The servers can either be within the business’s premises or hosted by a third party. The primary use cases of private Cloud are the development of Cloud-native apps, establishing your own data centers, and the optimisation or modernisation of software.

Public

Public Cloud is managed by a third-party service in its entirety. The servers are within the service’s possession, too. The resources are shared between other users, although obviously only you have access to yours. Typical use cases would be e-commerce systems, IT environments for startups, web hosting and development, or short-term projects.

Hybrid

A hybrid Cloud comprises both public and private models. It increases flexibility in terms of deployment, as well as allows for better optimisation of your current infrastructure.

Multicloud

Multicloud is simply the usage of multiple Cloud service platforms to maximise the results.

As I’ve mentioned before, founding a startup is a risky type of entrepreneurship. Cloud computing and services can provide a solution to a number of possible issues.

Reliability

Cloud providers are known for providing great, high-profile environments. Building your own involves a lot of hassle and resource usage. Besides, collaboration becomes seamless, as well as the management of your tasks and projects. With Cloud, you’ve got a ready-to-use platform for any of your development, storage, or application needs.

Security

In terms of security, Cloud may seem like the less advantageous choice, compared to on-premises architecture. In reality, it’s the other way around, as Cloud solutions provide you with countless data protection tools such as easy backups and file recovery.

Scalability

Seeing that Cloud services operate on a pay-as-you-use model, for the most part, you get to scale your infrastructure according to your needs. You don’t need any time-consuming updates of your own systems. On top of that, Cloud can be scaled almost indefinitely, so you can be sure that there will be enough resources.

Flexibility

Adjusting your resources takes minutes, if not seconds, making you incredibly flexible. If any unexpected situations happen, you can be ready within a short period of time.

Access

Global access lets you run your startup project from just about anywhere. This gives you the benefit of hiring remote workers, which, in turn, can provide you with far more talent and variety.

Cost scheduling

Another advantage is the fact that you know exactly how much you pay and can adjust your expenses accordingly whenever necessary. Whether you use SaaS, IaaS, or PaaS, you either use a subscription model, or you simply pay as you use.

Suggested Reading: Cloud comparison tool – AWS Vs Google Vs IBM Vs Microsoft Vs Alibaba Cloud

Disadvantages of Cloud

While it may seem like a perfect solution for all your startup problems, it most definitely isn’t. Cloud does have some considerable disadvantages that you’ll need to take into account when choosing to migrate.

Transition is not that simple

If you’ve already started developing your startup and would like to migrate, it’s not always that straightforward to do. In case your project needs to run as a Cloud-native software, you’ll need to prepare it. This might need additional resources, manpower, and budget. Again, developing applications that base on Cloud requires particular specialists, too, who are quite expensive.

Possible cost increases

Consider the fact that Cloud is mostly a pay-as-you-use model and using additional features that later become obsolete can be a problem. At times, providers like AWS have complicated payment models that don’t really make much sense, to tell the truth. This can lead to you simply forgetting that you’re paying for something that you no more use. While most of the time, using Cloud saves you money, there can be situations where it simply makes you pay more than necessary.

Security issues

While this may seem like a contradiction to a previous point I made, security is not equal among all of the available providers. Some of them have better methods, and some have worse, it will take some research to find out the exact situation on the market.

Little customisation

Being a startup, you want to be innovative. Cloud doesn’t offer you as much customisation possibilities as your own infrastructure probably would.

Wrap-up

Cloud has a lot going for it in terms of providing solutions for startups. Choosing the right ones requires a proper Cloud computing strategy. Depending on your industry, you can benefit from Cloud computing and services only to a certain degree. You’ll need to evaluate whether this is the right choice for your startup.

Author: Jacek Żmudziński, Senior Performance Marketing Specialist, Future Processing

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