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How SMBs And Startups Can Utilize The Cloud To Increase Their Bottom Line


by Mitch Wainer, CMO of DigitalOcean

In the past, expanding your technological reach required heavy financial investment, expert planning, and significant time away from the actual running of your business.  For many companies, cloud providers have taken the pain out of the traditional hosting model.

Cloud computing offers many compelling advantages that can be game-changers, a few of which are discussed below.

1. Convenience.

The current generation of cloud technology makes it possible for small businesses to quickly deploy or modify the infrastructure they rely on, in under a minute.This lends businesses great power and flexibility.  For example, during planning, it is easy to test multiple configurations before fully committing to one system.  With easy snapshotting and quick deployments, it is no longer necessary to maintain a dedicated testing server and painstakingly replicate your production server.  These can be created on-demand within minutes.

Easy provisioning makes it is possible for small businesses to deploy their servers with the applications they use pre-configured and ready to work.  This Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model allows companies to focus their energy on the areas where they are making money, instead of worrying about the minute configuration details of every new server.

2. Agility.

Speed and agility have never before been so available and so crucial in business.  One of the most critical advantages a small business has is the ability to quickly respond to a rapidly changing environment.  Cloud computing leverages this advantage by allowing you to implement new technologies as they arrive without accruing the significant costs associated with testing and deploying on physical hardware.

It also provides a simple upgrade path that scales with your needs.You do not have to know what kind of resources you will need in a year or two, because the services will easily scale to accommodate your business’s growth.You now have the opportunity to make decisions and implement them instantly.  You can plan your growth better than ever and effectively adjust those plans to react to outside factors.

3. Cost Savings.

For a growing number of reasons, cloud computing is much more affordable for businesses than dedicated servers or shared hosting.  Cloud hosting forgoes the need to develop complex, finicky, expensive infrastructure designs by allowing on-demand resources that are easy to create and destroy.  Small businesses do not have to hire dedicated staff to set up and maintain unwieldy hardware systems.

4. Access to Cutting-Edge Computing Power.

Computer hardware evolves at a rapid rate.  Hardware upgrades that might be cost prohibitive to individual businesses are available at affordable prices from cloud providers.  For example, SSDs (solid state drives) are now available from a number of cloud companies.  These can be up to 10x faster than traditional hard drives and with cloud technology, switching over your entire platform to take advantage of these upgrades is trivial.

Beyond the day-to-day computing requirements of your website or product, cloud hosting gives you access to servers with higher specifications for one-off,power intensive tasks.  You can spin up a high-powered server as needed and accomplish your goals without having to commit to a monthly or yearly plan.  The alternatives, if available at all, are expensive, time-consuming, and maintenance-heavy.

5. Reselling Opportunities.

By taking advantage of the infrastructure and easy application deployment offered by cloud providers, small businesses can easily slice up their purchased server space and resell it with their software-as-a-service solution on top.Low cost servers, the ability to easily resize and expand, and the availability of APIs to automate these tasks are the qualities that make this business model not only possible, but also incredibly attractive.

By having a seemingly endless supply of server space as a base to build on, scaling your backend becomes a more manageable concern.  Your business can focus on improving your area of specialization, and your cloud provider can take care of the rest.


Mitch Wainer is the CMO of DigitalOcean, a New York-based cloud server and hosting provide. DigitalOcean is the simplest cloud-hosting provider for deploying an SSD cloud server. DigitalOcean is headquartered in New York City and graduated from the TechStars startup accelerator program. Featured in Forbes, Pando Daily, TechCrunch, Venture Beat, and The Next Web, the company has launched over 190,000 cloud servers since inception.