Agile not fragile - how cloud applications can help startups and SMBs succeed

Written by Michael Smith on the 16th of April, 2014

In a recent article on BBC News, Liverpudlian Martin Kenwright, responsible for best-selling 3D games such as Motorstorm and World Rally Championship, described setting up a business today as being ‘comically easy’ compared to when he first started out in 1989.

Hindsight and experience are wonderful things but there is a point to what he is saying. You can now create a business very quickly in the cloud without the requirement for office space, fixtures and fittings, desks, computers and a sign on the door. Clearly, you still need a product or service and paying customers but the key fact is that upfront capital requirements and weighty running costs are removed and ‘keeping overheads down means you can take more risks - you can be more agile’.

And these benefits aren’t only available to startups. Any forward thinking SMB should be thinking about the cloud as a way not just of becoming more mobile but becoming more agile. Reducing overheads, encouraging active collaboration internally and externally and improving productivity can make an existing business as nimble and allow it to become more competitive.

Take small business accounting software company Xero which ‘didn't have a physical location for the first four years of the company's life’ according to MD Gary Turner1. In embracing cloud services like Google Apps for Business, they have been able to scale and continue to be extraordinarily agile even after the addition of offices in the UK and US.

Cloud applications are not just building blocks for startups but also a means of repointing existing businesses and securing foundations and extending market-share.

1.BBC NEWs, New technologies help start-ups shoot for the stars;

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