Cloud Computing: Motivations

In the first post in our series examining issues relating to cloud computing, we looked at the concept of outsourcing significant aspects of a company’s technology infrastructure – an increasing reality for startups. Our latest post looks at what factors might motivate a company to utilize one of the numerous cloud-computing resources that are available

A Founder’s Motivation for Cloud Computing

Startups have many reasons for moving from an intranet-based, capital-purchase dependent model of IT infrastructure to a utility-style demand and cloud-based service. These include the following:

  • Scalability – Cloud computing helps startups manage shifting computing requirements by providing greater flexibility in the computing services they purchase. A cloud-based IT infrastructure is more versatile – notably in terms of scalability – than is local, intranet-based infrastructure.
  • Reliability – Because cloud vendors can build more redundancy into a system than a company can build into its own intranet, the cloud vendor can spread its infrastructure investment costs across its entire customer base, allocating resources as necessary.
  • Virtualization – Because cloud-based IT infrastructure can be virtualized and geographically dislocated, startups are freed from having to consider the physical location of its IT infrastructure and data centers in business operations decisions.
  • Affordability – Under traditional infrastructures, startups may not receive – or have financial wherewithal to purchase – certain features that are often offered to cloud computing customers at substantial discounts. How do these benefits pass on to startups and other small companies? Because the marginal cost to the cloud computing provider of many features (such as enhanced security) may be very low (or even negligible), otherwise unaffordable services may be offered for free to startups using cloud computing options.

This post is the second in a series that identifies several important and common issues that company founders may encounter when utilizing cloud computing resources. We hope this series gives you a framework to inform strategies that startup companies can employ to mitigate the risks involved with cloud computing.

 
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