• Devansh Lakhani

How Startups Can Overcome Obstacles in Their Cloud Journey?

Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are the backbone of global economies and contribute significantly to a country’s socio-economic objectives. However, across industries, the SMB sector is often overlooked, even though it represents close to 90 per cent of all registered businesses and employs half the world’s workforce. Yet these businesses continue to remain underserved in comparison to large enterprises.

1.Cost of maintaining IT infrastructure will delay cloud adoption

Over 80 per cent of Indian SMBs reading indicate they plan to increase cloud infrastructure investment in the next three to six months. However, new businesses have fewer resources, which could pose as a barrier to entry in the competitive cloud market. The cost of maintaining IT infrastructure presents a formidable obstacle to founders. According to the reading, startups with fewer than 100 employees spend an average of 52 per cent of their budgets on infrastructure. Bootstrapped startups face additional financial barriers and may not be eligible for startup accelerator programs. Transparent cloud service pricing is critical to supporting startups’ success.

2.Reducing knowledge gaps will overcome fear of the cloud

The lack of know-how to help maintain technical infrastructure is another unique challenge facing SMBs as they need to keep pace with frequent technology upgrades and trends. Technology founders and decision-makers struggle with the depth of technical expertise required to manage cloud infrastructure.

The reading confirms 65 per cent of small businesses fear the lack of technical knowledge needed to maintain cloud infrastructure could pose a crucial barrier to public cloud adoption. In spite of this skills gap, our data indicates early-stage startups are still expanding cloud usage during the COVID-19 crisis.

This expertise gap is why moving forward, startups will find it even more critical to choose simple, easy to use, transparent and cost-effective cloud providers when faced with limited cloud development experience.

3.Ensuring security will drive cloud adoption

No discussion of the startup and SMB environment would be complete without mentioning the importance of security. Although IT security is the number one priority for startups, these businesses grapple with implementing security protocols. The stay-at-home economy necessitated by the pandemic has prompted companies to strengthen security measures.

Security concerns with open-source software is another technical barrier to entry for startups. According to the reading, the two most popular security measures deployed by SMBs are operating system updates and management, and firewalls. Among other insights from the Currents Report, 72 per cent of small businesses are deploying firewalls to ramp up organizational security measures. Further, India’s burgeoning developer community is expected to fast-track the shift to cloud adoption and increase spending on multi-cloud disaster recovery and availability.

Given these trends, SMBs are well-advised to strengthen cybersecurity strategy and prioritize features such as firewalls, network security, and data protection. In the new normal, virtual private clouds (VPCs) may also gain popularity.

About Devansh Lakhani Director of Lakhani Financial Services, and a Chartered Accountant, he helps start-ups raise funds from his network of investors. He guides and advises start-ups to scale up by providing efficient sales, marketing, team building, and business management strategies. He has executed fundraising by block deals on the stock exchange and conducted IPOs and right issues on the SME platform to the tune of over Rs. 50 Crore. He is currently working with start-ups from various sectors to help them channelize their business models and investments.

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