Cloud Technology – How the Start-Ups are Making the Most of IT

Recent research has indicated that the average business start-up cost is close to a staggering £100,000. This is both surprising, yet unsurprising at the same time.

Of course this figure is an average, and some businesses can start up from their laptop and sofa for considerably less thanks to creative advances in the delivery of fundamental business services over the internet.

According to more local sources close to Mirus HQ, Milton Keynes had a record number of new businesses registered in the first half of 2012, beating the same period from last year by 10% with 1355 new businesses popping up. This demonstrates that the entrepreneurial spirit is bravely taking on the woes and relentlessly told tales of recessions and economic slumps. We’re delighted Milton Keynes is remaining positive.

The crux of this could be attributed to the way the internet has allowed businesses to fundamentally change their consumption behaviours of traditional IT services, and plug in to more financially appealing cloud based services. That doesn’t automatically mean it will cost less – that depends on several factors - and we would be careless with our position if we were to promise this without knowing more about your business.

The guaranteed appeal, however, comes from the elasticity of cloud services – the scalability, the consumption on demand, and the lower barriers to start-ups. If you can turn your business around to these opportunities, competitive advantage is yours.

Elastic IT

These days, you can get your email, calendar and productivity software as a service in the cloud from organisations such as Microsoft or Google online. There are variations in cost ranging from ‘free’ upwards. Of course, the term ‘free’ is rather cavalier as anything that comes with the £0 price tag tends to have a higher management cost associated to it in the long run. Approach ‘free’ with caution and perhaps treat as a trial to proven enterprise-grade solutions.

However, these services will undoubtedly decrease your short-term outlay, and it will also save money in the long-term if delivered appropriately. All your emails and documents are automatically backed up in disaster-proof data centres, and the software updates happen seamlessly - meaning you won’t have to stump up for a new version in a couple of years.

One cost that is more difficult to eliminate is hardware. Even if all your services are online, you still need a computer with a browser to access them. Mirus procurement services will ensure the right user equipment for your application needs. Watch this space for our views on Windows 8 release tips and advice.

Devices and Apps

The explosion in choice in devices and the all-you-can-eat buffet cart of applications is causing headaches for IT departments the world over. Demand for choice has arrived before policies can be thoroughly designed and implemented, leaving managers feeling on the back foot. I refer back to the previous caution of ‘free’.

Cloud Solutions

The market is responding, however, with solutions, such as VMware Virtualisation, that provide centrally managed systems that enables IT departments to de-link the desktop services from one device and move to providing one desktop across multiple devices through secure connections, effectively creating micro clouds within businesses.

Alternatively, Microsoft Office 365 offers a mass-personalised ‘office in a box’ environment if off-the-shelf solutions that can be deployed and tailored with relative ease are more your thing.

This means that new and growing companies do not need to worry about the future of starting in the cloud - it's scalable, secure, and means the agility you enjoy now will transfer as you grow.

Change can either paralyze you or set you free.

More and more these days starting a business is what you make of it, and your startup costs needn’t be anywhere near £100,000. Take advantage of smart online services, flexible working and subscription payments and your finances will look much healthier in your crucial first year of trading.

So, the technology is there to match your ambitions. What will you do with it?