Starting a business is fraught with challenges—from finding the capital, customers and connections to cutting through the red tape. However, another ‘c’ – ‘Cloud’ can help new businesses address some of the teething pains around establishing themselves and punching above their weight. The advent of several high profile ‘born-in-the-cloud’ start-ups has really brought this to the fore.
A good cloud strategy can help get product to market quickly, reduce overheads, improve efficiency and help better target, and communicate with, customers. There are many examples of ‘born-in-the-cloud’ companies challenging the establishment and winning, proving it no longer needs to be David versus Goliath.
Despite the many advantages offered by cloud, without a comprehensive and long-term strategy, companies risk losing as much as they gain. To help avoid some of the more popular mistakes—here are my top five tips of key things to consider when taking on a cloud provider:
A long-term view helps
Figure out upfront if your cloud partner shares your long-term vision and is willing to work with you on your terms. How robust is their platform? Are they ahead of the technology curve and investing significantly in next-gen technology infrastructure? Do they understand your long-term plans and have the right technology roadmap that will help you future-proof your business?
Getting the right fit for cloud
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to the cloud. Decide on whether to go public, private or hybrid based on where you are in the lifecycle of your start-up and the nature of your business. The good news is, it’s a buyer’s market, with a lot of choice available.
Design for scale
A cloud provider’s ability to help you scale up or out as your business grows, and scale down if a situation arises is essential. Can they offer different commercial models? Pay-per-use is not always the best option, especially if you’re growing fast. Instead, a prepaid option (non-metered pricing model) could be more beneficial.
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Open cloud architecture matters
It is often preferable to choose a cloud solution that’s open standards-based and supports all workloads, applications etc. This promotes the true spirit of collaboration, enabling everyone to build on—be it employees, customers and partners.
Monitoring and management
Security is increasingly seen as a cloud enabler rather than a threat. That said, choose an enterprise-grade cloud solution that offers protection for every layer and model of cloud, with encryption that is employed when data is both at rest and in motion. Your dexterity in designing a future-proof cloud strategy and due diligence in choosing the right cloud partner are vital steps for your long-term success.
The writer is mentor—Oracle Start-up Cloud Accelerator Programme