In an age of rapid technological advancement, cloud adoption has become vital for businesses wanting to take advantage of the latest digital tools. For established firms, cloud migration and digital transformation present a range of cultural, financial and IT challenges. Startups, on the other hand, can find themselves at a distinct advantage if they adopt cloud technology from the outset. Here, we examine why.
No outdated culture to change
Digital transformation involves more than just the adoption of new, cloud-based technologies. To take advantage of those technologies, many companies need to restructure and adapt the way they work. This often leads to internal conflict, with embedded mindsets being resistant to change. As a result, an entrenched corporate culture can compromise and impede the progress of digital transformation.
Startup enterprises haven’t been around long enough to get stuck in their ways, and so there is no ingrained culture that will put up resistance. The adoption of new technologies and ways of working can, therefore, take place without conflict.
The very nature of being a tech startup means you will need to invest in technology. Key here will be the infrastructure and applications your business depends on. Putting the right technology in place at the outset can help your company grow quicker and save significant sums in the long run.
Many established businesses rely on legacy applications running on in-house data centres. The scale of modern IT operations means that providing enough capacity in-house requires significant capital expenditure and the ongoing costs of maintaining a data centre. This is one of the chief drivers of cloud adoption. For these firms, however, migration raises several challenges: legacy apps might not work in the cloud, investment in hardware may go to waste, data will need moving and unifying, IT staff will need roles restructuring and so forth.
Tech startups that begin their journey in the cloud don’t become shackled by in-house data centres and legacy applications. Adopting cloud at the outset means no migration is necessary, so there are no issues with hardware, incompatible applications, data or staff roles. Indeed, this enables them to grow swiftly and become market disruptors.
Certainty when there isn’t any
One advantage that established firms have is that their track record helps them forecast the future. They have a better idea of what their IT needs are going to be moving forward and can plan and budget for these based on those predictions.
Startups don’t have this luxury. When they launch, they have no clear idea of how quickly or to what extent their venture will take off. Those that develop in-house infrastructure can put themselves at a disadvantage here, either acquiring too much or too little IT capacity. Too much, and investment goes to waste, too little and they risk being unable to cope with unexpected demand.
The advantage of adopting cloud from the outset is that resource capacity won’t be an issue. Cloud-based resources are almost infinitely scalable: whatever resources a startup needs, i.e., storage, CPU, RAM or bandwidth, are available on demand. So, regardless of how quickly your project takes off or how popular it becomes, dealing with unprecedented growth will never be a problem. Importantly, this scalability also offers the most cost-effective solution. Unlike in-house hardware, which you have to pay for whether you use it or not, cloud resources are paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis. This makes cloud the ideal solution for startups with uncertain demands and limited IT budgets.
Tech startups are usually firms with a modern approach to business, with many of them developing online products and services. For this reason, being a cloud-centric firm from the outset makes absolute sense. Cloud-based services are best developed in the cloud so that their online features can be realistically tested in the environment for which they are designed.
The cloud also enables startups to benefit from online collaboration, remote and flexible working, and 24/7 access to data, while making use of the broad range of online services offered by other companies.
In the cloud, data can be unified and better managed, enabling the deeper and more accurate analytics that progressive businesses need for decision making. Companies can also deploy advanced cloud-based technologies at pace, like AI and ML, while taking advantage of automation and the Internet of Things.
The cloud is also the ideal environment for tech startups looking to develop and deploy the customer experience enhancing applications that are in so much demand. It offers worldwide accessibility and the potential to deliver omnichannel and personalisation experiences that modern consumers crave.
In today’s technology-driven market, startups are in the unique position of being able to build themselves from the ground up as a digital business. Adopting cloud technology from the outset puts them at an advantage over those competitors needing to transform and migrate, while providing them with the agility, flexibility, cost-savings and advanced IT solutions that the cloud has to offer.
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