Launching Your Business With the Cloud: Storage for Startups

Posted by on Aug 16, 2013

Starting your own business can be a challenge in any market, but in the face of increased global competition, it’s harder than ever to create a company with staying power. One way to jumpstart success is by leveraging technology to better compete with bigger international enterprises. Through cloud computing and storage, startups have been able to gain a cutting edge, bringing their products and services to new markets and targeting key demographics through big data analytics. But storing sensitive startup data to the cloud can be a security risk that makes new company data vulnerable to data mining, hacking, and even internal leaks. With private cloud services, startups can take advantage of all that the cloud has to offer without sacrificing security and privacy in the process.

Startup Success Through the Cloud

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The cloud market is currently muddled with controversy over security and pricing, making the process of selecting a service provider even more difficult for startups. But that shouldn’t scare new companies away from the cloud, as the technology can be one of the best assets for startups with limited staff and resources. One of the biggest ways that the cloud can be an asset to businesses is in the area of hiring. For startups, hiring can be a risky investment and many look to freelance contract workers to help smoothly transition newer companies through periods of growth. The cloud enables businesses to tap a massive network of freelance workers, as well as professionals in a wide range of sectors, to meet their shifting needs. Another way that clouds can help startups is by drastically cutting IT costs. Instead of hiring large IT teams and buying expensive onsite servers cloud-sourcing to a third party provider offers smaller businesses the same capabilities that were once exclusively the privilege of top enterprises. And cloud services are fully scalable, so that startups only have to pay for what they actually need, with the option of scaling services up or down depending on monthly demand.

How Startups Choose Cloud Providers

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The cloud offers flexible solutions for startups, from public and private deployment models, to unique hybrid clouds that fulfill the security and storage requirements of businesses. With the ability to tackle everything from IT infrastructure to data storage, the cloud can be one of the best cost-effective tools for any startup. One of the greatest challenges though, is finding the right cloud provider that can provide quality services along with strong data security and user privacy. As it stands, the market it still a little chaotic. According to Stu Minima, senior analyst at Wikibon, “It is by no means, kind of a steady state market.  There’s logic turn going on, lots of changes, lots of players coming into the market, lots of companies radically changing their environment, and most enterprises have some play in the cloud.  But it’s definitely early, early days still despite the fact that we’ve been talking about it for over five years now.” But that’s no excuse for opting out of the cloud all together. As Minima states, “companies have to be looking at cloud environments.  Turn the clock back to those early days, five years ago in 2008, when IT had significant pressures on being able to take that fixed IT cost and change that to a flexible model.  Moving today, it’s more about business agility and being able to deploy things faster.  CIOs today, it’s not if they should be using cloud environments, it’s imperative that they do this or they will be left behind with what competitors are doing.”

Start Up Costs & Success

Image courtesy of fundersandfounders.com

For startups, timing is everything and flexibility is one of the few leveraging points new businesses have on established competitors. So finding a secure cloud service as soon as possible should be on every startup’s list of priorities. Making the switch to the cloud also can help secure vital venture capital funding, which can be hard to come by in the current economic climate. Vice president at Forrester Research, James Staten, says, “First and foremost, startups that offer software or online services have to prove their business model works in the cloud before they are likely to get any venture capital funding these days. That means their business starts in the cloud.”

SpiderOak Blue for Startups

For startups looking to turn a profit through the cloud, SpiderOak Blue offers fully private “public” and onsite server options for full flexibility. But choosing the right third party cloud service can be a challenge as many services on the market have security gaps that leave private company data vulnerable to third party attacks, NSA snooping, and even internal leaks. But SpiderOak sets itself apart from the rest of the market by providing a fully private cloud service featuring all of the benefits of cloud storage along with 100% data anonymity.

SpiderOak protects sensitive startup data through 256-bit AES encryption so that files and passwords stay private. Authorized accounts can store and sync sensitive data with complete privacy, because this cloud service has absolutely “zero-knowledge” of user passwords or data. And all plaintext encryption keys are exclusively stored on approved devices, as SpiderOak never hosts plaintext data of any kind. SpiderOak Blue’s private cloud services are available for startups on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, along with Android and iOS mobile devices, making this one of the only flexible cross-platform solutions on the market.

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