The global game
It wasn’t long ago that, when starting a business, the only thought you’d need to give competition was: “is somebody doing something similar to me, and are they nearby?” The rise of multinational corporations and chains changed this for many sectors. Corporations began to competing in globalised economies. Startups now had to contend with those with far greater resources, often with little success.
If they wanted to succeed, start-ups had to look to local markets, where they had the home ground advantage. But the game has changed. In the past few years, cloud computing has given start-ups a new tool to compete on a global level.
This impact can begin small, as cloud computing can aid companies regardless of budget. From day one startups can make use of video conferencing, which is an example of something that was once only available to organisations with larger IT budgets.
The cloud allows small organisations to use the technology, and hence to compete with their larger counterparts on a level playing field. This can mean communicating with clients in other locations, or colleagues out of office.
From the internal to the external, the cloud also improves the ability of smaller companies to compete on a reputational basis. It’s crucial that startups not simply be seen as a smaller version of a larger and more reliable corporation.
One of the reasons this often happens is the security, reliability and performance that bigger companies can offer. Outsourcing responsibility for this to cloud computing providers with stable infrastructures – the same infrastructures used by global corporations. The global corporations may make use of a larger portion of that infrastructure, but the infrastructure used by startups is the same.
Moreover, the cloud maintains the advantages of data proximity, whereby better performance is driven by the proximity to the source; with servers located in various locations, cloud infrastructures allow the users to connect and use their data from wherever they are in a reliable manner.
More than ever before, startups need to consider their scalability from day one. Gone are the days of spending long periods of time building up a strong base before approaching expansion. The cloud has allowed it to be part of the game plan from day one.
>See also: The modern office based in the cloud
Capacity to deal with growth in new markets and fluctuation throughout the year can be easily catered for; you can have 1000 servers when it’s the end of the month or year, and the rest of the time you can run on the bare minimum.
Alongside this, the cloud has a significant impact on an organisation’s ability to introduce new tools and phase out old tools. IT adaptation no longer takes a year to implement, but can happen in days. This means access to the latest technologies, such as blockchain, is a reality.
These days, worker mobility means far more than travelling for work, or simply working from home. Cloud computing has enabled a blend of the two, meaning wherever you are you can access the resources you need. This has advantages beyond just allowing you to check your emails, or edit a document, as you commute.
Employees can work in any environment that aids their productivity. Some employers still shudder at the idea of their employees working anywhere other than their desk. Suggest to them that the best place for their workforce might sat on a beach, or in a park, and they’d likely stop listening. But cloud computing has meant employees can now consider ways of working that better complement our lifestyles. No more being tied to a desk.
Similarly, cloud computing also means we can now draw from a broader range of environments. It is easier than ever to build a diverse workforce, from a range of backgrounds. Startups no longer have to limit their hiring pool to those who can commute to the office.
This is particularly important to startups, as they have a harder time convincing the perfect prospective employee to uproot their life and move closer to an office they weren’t already near.
Now, employees could work from another country and remain an integrated part of the workforce. This has the added benefit of meaning startups can secure the employees with the skills best suited to their needs. In small startup teams it is crucial that every member brings value. A wider talent pool simply means a greater chance of finding the right talent.
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