We are at the cusp of another technological revolution that could change the fate of humanity yet again. The invention of technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing are proving to be as monumental as some of the greatest inventions like the wheel, the steam engine and most recently, the internet.
In the eye of this storm are several fledgling startups that are doing their best to make a difference. They are lean, agile and use creative means to sustain and thrive.
Among the most important instruments in a startup’s toolkit is the cloud. With their remarkably tight budgets, several lean startups have become giant slayers, thanks to the cloud-hosted software at their disposal.
What is a cloud-hosted software?
Compare your desktop with an unfurnished house without any furniture. Instead of buying furniture for your home, you may consider renting furniture for the house.
Cloud-hosted software is akin to the rented furniture we referred in the said example. All you need is a computer (or any other device) that can connect with the internet to access your software. Just like the rented furniture, you use the software without owning it. It is the responsibility of the hosting service to provide access to the software using a delivery method commonly referred to as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Every business uses productivity applications like MS Office, which can be available on cloud through Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity suite which bundles all popular Microsoft apps together. Many startups opt for Office 365 migration because of the same reason.
Benefits of cloud-hosted software for startups
Startups have to compete with established players apart from their peers to capture a fair share of the market. They have limited resources that have to be used judiciously for maximizing returns. The use of cloud-hosted software gives startups greater flexibility in many ways to extract the maximum benefits from their limited resources. For example, your accountants can get more productive by using QuickBooks hosting, as it offers them flexibility of anytime anywhere access.
It is far more difficult to predict the growth trajectory of a startup than established companies. Startups are always experimenting to find their footing and must react to changes quickly. A software that is a money-spinner for the company today might turn obsolete in a matter of time.
On the other side, some startup ideas may turn out to be runaway hits. With cloud-based technology, startups can close the demand-supply gap much faster.
Startups often have to rely on expensive software that they can’t always purchase to deliver their products and services. The alternatives may not serve the purpose as effectively while the original software might be available with unacceptable restrictions. For example, your physical desktop can be either replaced by Citrix Xendesktop, which can be accessed from anywhere.
Additionally, users can access the software from anywhere without the dependence on on-premise infrastructure. That allows employees and contractors to work remotely, a convenience that allows startups to operate without a physical location while employing a global workforce.
Startups have to focus on their core business to maximize growth. This implies that most of the auxiliary functions will have to be outsourced. Under such circumstances, it might be difficult for them to address infrastructure, network, and software related issues.
With cloud-hosted software, these responsibilities are transferred to vendors who are providing the services allowing startups to minimize resource allocation to some of the non-core activities of the business.
Real end-user Support
Cloud-hosted software providers have dedicated teams that work round-the-clock. Larger vendors may even have local teams who might be able to assist subscribers at the client’s premises. These teams can be contacted by many popular modes of communication such as email, phone, and chat so that issues do not drag on. It is difficult to have access to that kind of service unless startups employ their own dedicated teams to handle such issues.
The investment made on cloud-hosted software is limited to the rental value of using those services. There are virtually no upfront costs on infrastructure, security measures, dedicated teams, or real estate for using cloud services. These savings can be put to better use for research, development, and production or whichever activity that can increase profitability.
Noah Kagan of Sumo.com appropriately said, “A startup can focus on only one metric. So, you have to decide what that is and ignore everything else.”
Migrating to cloud-hosted software is one step in the right direction. It allows startups to focus on their core competencies. When every cent of savings and every ounce of energy is diverted toward the single-minded goal of making ideas come true, success is bound to follow. Apps4Rent provides hosted cloud service to help startups achieve their goals.