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A Startup Guide to the Cloud

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A Startup Guide to the Cloud

 ‘The cloud’ is a term that has become a household name, but it is one that seems abstract to many. Numerous people use the term, but if you sat down and tried to write a definition you may struggle. You may also struggle to think of how it can help your startup. This is understandable but foolhardy in many respects, as it can be a great tool to enable the flexible scaling opportunities that your company may need.

Where did the Cloud come from?

The cloud may seem like it has rapidly formed around you, but the concept of cloud computing has actually been around since the 1950s. Back then, computers took up a whole room and mainframes were too expensive to buy individually for each mainframe user. They decided to allow multiple users to share access to both data and computer processing capabilities, which was like a very basic wired cloud. The term ‘cloud computing’ has been around since 1997, coined by Ramnath Chellappa.

What exactly is the Cloud? 

The cloud does not exist like a server exists, it is an atypical network of servers that are used for different functions like providing storage space, or CPU for running applications. Recently these servers have been offered as a supercomputer function – where you can use the equivalent CPU of hundreds or thousands of computers to execute a program (often financial analyses). A more comprehensive example is that of Adobe, where you now have to pay a monthly subscription fee to use their apps like Photoshop as part of Adobe Creative Cloud.

There are a large variety of cloud platforms available, most notably AWS (owned by Amazon), Microsoft Azure and Citrix Cloud. Cloud solutions can be quite complex, so smaller companies like Bytes also exist to act as a middleman and help with all the technicalities.

How can the Cloud help Startups?

The Cloud has revolutionized the way many tech companies operate. This is because it protects them from the depreciation of their hardware, which happens quickly in the tech sphere, as hardware can become outdated relatively quickly. If you don’t buy your own hardware, but instead use CPU or storage from the cloud, you pay for what you use instead of investing in technology that has a higher capability than what you require. This may sound similar to renting a property instead of buying a property, and the comparison is fair, but the cloud has an advantage that is perfect for tech startups. It enables rapid and seamless transitions in scale. One of the main definers of a startup is its scalability, and the cloud allows your company to scale quickly without the delay and risk of buying hardware.

The cloud can be an incredible force to aid your business, and help tech startups as a scaling mechanism. If you are entering an industrial or physical-product based startup, you will not be able to enjoy this benefit unless you can digitize a related product or service, and who knows, a pivot may be just around the corner.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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