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Why all startups need the cloud heading into 2022

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Startups all have one thing in common: they need to build a company from the ground up. They’re starting from scratch to form a brand new entity that has never existed before. Whether startup companies have investors to provide them with resources from square one or they start with a bare bones budget and a dream, running their operations in the cloud offers them the best option to meet their computing needs.

Cloud computing services allow you to develop the core business processes you need for success, things like product development, sales, marketing, records-keeping, and more. 

Let’s look closely at how cloud communications can take a startup to the next level:

Report: How over 500 small businesses used the cloud to thrive

6 benefits of cloud computing for startups

The cloud offers tremendous benefits for companies in all stages, from startups to leading industry enterprises. But startups that leverage cloud services can benefit in unique ways. The following are just some of the advantages of cloud computing that apply specifically to startups.

1. Off-site equipment

Cloud solutions are ideal for handling the specific needs of startups that may not have space (or the budget) for a physical server or data center. Since the pandemic brought virtual work to the forefront of business, your startup may not even have a single office space or location.A major benefit of cloud solutions is that they don’t require any more physical equipment than a laptop, smartphone, or tablet to access.

2. Scalability

Startup companies often start as small businesses and grow over time as they increase product development and sales. Cloud technology scales easily as your startup grows, with a smaller cost in the early stages of cloud hosting that will slowly grow with your company and its needs.

3. Security

Cloud service providers include advanced security features to keep your data and other processes safe from hackers and thieves. That’s a big deal because keeping information secure can be a full-time job in itself… and an expensive one. But with a reputable cloud service provider, you can rest assured your data is secure. You don’t even need to think about it much; security is just there.

4. Stability

Along with security, the cloud offers the stability of always being able to get to your real-time information and recover it from backups if there ever is a problem. Downtime is minimal to nonexistent on cloud platforms. The same  cannot be said for physical servers. They often require almost constant maintenance and can have catastrophic failures that may lead to permanent loss of data.

5. Access to new technologies

Cloud providers constantly update and upgrade their systems. That gives your startup access to the latest technologies without you having to constantly invest in them and discard the previous versions. Having upgrades included without additional cost could allow you to pursue other initiatives with the cost savings you enjoy.

6. Ease of use

Using a physical server may require hiring one or more full time IT staff members, which may take a bigger bite out of your budget than you can chew. On the other hand, building cloud infrastructure is user-friendly and may only require part-time help to navigate, depending on the skill level of your team members.

Types of cloud services

There are three different types of cloud services you can choose to meet your specific needs. 

Public cloud

This type of computing is owned by a company other than the startup and is used by many different companies. Some larger public cloud providers include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud. The advantage of using public cloud providers is low cost and automatic upgrades, but the drawback is less customization.

Private cloud

Private clouds are dedicated to only one company and usually reside behind that company’s firewall. A private cloud may be difficult for a startup to obtain, since it costs more and requires more expertise to operate. But if your company is in a highly regulated industry and needs the highest level of security or you want a custom solution that you control, private cloud may be the best option.

Hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud is simply a combination of two different clouds. This could be two or more different public clouds, two or more private clouds, or a combination of both. As your startup grows, this solution could allow more flexibility and complex functioning. But it may come at the sacrifice of some of the cloud’s typical simplicity.

When choosing from among a number of cloud offers, you should look at whether the cloud platform meets all of your needs and gives you room to grow. The service model that meets your needs now may not meet them in the future.

Cloud computing service models 

WIthin each type of cloud computing, there are also three layers of services available to users: 

Software-as-a-service (SaaS)

Sometimes called “on-demand software,” this model typically involves a charge for the amount of storage your company uses. You get access to the complete software through the web or a mobile app, which is known as the “thin client.” The access is through a subscription, and a third-party provider manages the services for your startup.

Platform as a service (PaaS)

If you want to do software development, your startup needs a service like PaaS, which provides a computing platform with operating system, toolkit, and standard tools for software development (think web server, database, etc.). This type of service model can easily scale data storage and computing resources so that they don’t have to be configured manually. 

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

This is the most common model. It involves renting the space and tools (operating systems, networks, storage virtual machines, and servers) needed and managing them on your own. IaaS mimics the physical environment exactly, but without requiring the space to store physical assets on-site.

Once you identify which service model and type of cloud computing will work best for your startup’s needs, you can easily deploy and implement these systems and get started on doing the work you need to do. Cloud service providers can be very helpful to you in identifying what you need and which services would work best for you. 

Cloud-based messaging and communications for startups

Communication has also moved to the cloud for many startups. Instead of a complicated network of phone services, video meeting apps, and piecemeal solutions that don’t work together, many startups are opting for a unified solution that meets all of their communication technology needs.

Your startup likely needs a communication system that lets multiple users make phone calls, send messages, and run video meetings from any location at any time. RingCentral SMB is a cloud-based communications system perfect for startups because of its scalability and versatility. 

Like all excellent cloud-based applications, RingCentral is secure and reliable, offering 99.9% uptime. Omnichannel digital engagement means that no matter what you need your phone system to do, RingCentral has you covered. 

The open-API platform has the capability to integrate hundreds of prebuilt apps. Or, if you prefer, your startup can get a custom-built solution to best meet its individual needs. No matter how specialized your startup’s needs are, RingCentral can help you build the system that will work for you. 

Because of RingCentral’s superior integration capability, you may also continue to use third-party solutions that are working for your team–while unifying communications as a whole under the RingCentral umbrella. 

RingCentral also offers state-of-the-art support to help you troubleshoot any difficulties you may have in making your communications work in optimal ways for your business. We stand behind our products and make sure they work as intended; we aim to exceed your expectations.

See our small business solutions and choose the one that will help you meet your business goals, now and in the future. 

Originally published Nov 10, 2021

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