Flowcharts as a Tool to Understand ‘Cloud’ for Startups

“The cloud services companies of all sizes…The cloud is for everyone. The cloud is a democracy.” – Marc Benioff

Technology has served as an enabler of commerce since times immemorial. The wind-powered sail, the steam engine, telephone and facsimile systems, the internal combustion engine, and growing use of computer and software packages represent a few instances that reinforce this assertion. Essentially, technology has emerged as “a force for economic growth and a means to develop and project economic, political, military power, and wealth.” In modern times, cloud-based software technologies have ushered in new dimensions that demonstrate the continuing relevance of technology in commerce; hence, we must understand ‘Cloud’ for startups when we survey the many nuances and long-term impacts of deploying modern technology in the pursuit of commercial objectives. In such contexts, the creation of expansive flowchart diagrams allows us to appreciate the many facets of using cloud technologies in powering success for new business operations.

From the perspective of a new business operator, the appropriate use of limited financial resources remains key to understand ‘Cloud’ for startups. A flowchart can help such operators develop a balanced view that assigns precious resources to key business operations. For instance, a startup that delivers horticultural products to customers’ addresses can outline business operations inside a flowchart. A designated section inside the illustration can portray the use of cloud technologies to key power business activities such as managing sales, customer relationship management, accounting processes, and new business development. Specific budgets can be assigned to these activities, thereby helping the operator maintain a balanced perspective in terms of cash flows and business operations. Clearly, this instance allows us to appreciate and understand ‘Cloud’ for startups, thereby enriching the discourse on the use of technology in startup operations.

The integral DNA and diverse applications of cloud computing empower startup owners to scale business resources in response to spikes in demand. This remains a key value proposition because owners and operators need only pay for the computing resources they use to power business operations. This pay-as-you-go model is widespread among cloud technology providers and represents a primary aspect when we seek to understand ‘Cloud’ for startups. For instance, a newly minted enterprise that caters to users and enthusiasts of specialized sporting equipment could utilize cloud computing technologies to serve a rush of requests from customers during peak sporting seasons. The use of cloud technology allows the enterprise to respond to each customer request with diligence, thereby gaining a measure of goodwill in commercial markets. However, the costs of such strategy remain contained owing to the pay-as-you-go cloud-based model, which cushions the startup from excessive exposure to technology costs.

Business intelligence, when harnessed correctly, remains a cornerstone that can drive high levels of success for startup operators. In this crucial context, the increasing levels of sophistication inherent in cloud technologies allows startup operators to leverage considerable data processing capabilities built into the cloud. For instance, a new business operator could derive significant levels of actionable intelligence in his or her chosen domain by crunching quantities of publicly available data and information; such a stance empowers the operator to identify patterns of trade and trends in business, thereby aligning startup operations for the best commercial outcomes. A flowchart can prove instrumental in designing and implementing such a policy. The cause and effect paradigms inherent inside these illustrations help new business owners to understand ‘Cloud’ for startups, thereby positioning their venture for greater success.

Any attempt to understand ‘Cloud’ for startups must survey and appreciate the heavy costs associated with acquiring and maintaining legacy information technology systems and practices. In this context, we note traditional IT systems require frequent attention in terms of troubleshooting operational glitches, imply cash outflows for software licenses, and impose additional costs in terms of hiring qualified manpower. In contrast, cloud computing technologies ensure smooth operations seamlessly linked to the service provider’s IT infrastructure, thereby significantly reducing the IT costs associated with a startup business. This situation translates into long-term gains for operators of a new business and can spell early success in the commercial efforts of new entrepreneurs. Intelligently-designed flowcharts enable startup operators to fluently delineate such scenarios and contribute to their attempts to understand ‘Cloud’ for startup.

Digital security represents a crucial aspect that can guarantee the success of modern small-scale commercial ventures. In response, cloud computing system providers offer top-notch security for the files, silos of data, and information generated and utilized by a modern startup. An appreciation of this aspect of cloud-powered systems allows us to understand ‘Cloud’ for startups; further relevance emerges when we note data pilferages and thefts of information typically occur when employees of a business organization handle information inside traditional IT ecosystems. Cloud-based systems decimate such risks and drastically reduce the scope for such forms of business disruption. Such assertions echo in recent research findings that indicate, “94% of small businesses saw an improvement in security after switching to the cloud, and 91% said the cloud makes it easier to meet government compliance requirements.” The use of flowcharts enables startup operators to design secure operational plans that hinge on cloud-based security matrix.

The back-ends of modern IT infrastructure can pose challenges and lessen the entrepreneurial energies of small businesses operators. Cloud technologies are ideally positioned to address such challenges and remove major obstacles that reduce market traction for such operators. For instance, a startup operator could subscribe to cloud services that offer 24×7 seamless online payment mechanisms for small businesses. This proposition can prove lucrative in terms of attracting customers, thereby offering the startup a significant competitive advantage. Computer code animates a major portion of this strategy, which proves ideal for small business operations; the real world benefits also include reduced expenses on IT infrastructure and negligible scope for payment frauds owing to bona fide security protocols implemented by the cloud services provider. A flowchart can help such operators enumerate the benefits that flow from such strategy and allows readers to understand ‘Cloud’ for startups.

Recent industry research indicates an estimated 85% of all cloud-based enterprises have deployed a multi-cloud strategy in pursuit of better resource utilization. This stance represents part of a core business strategy and must be adopted by startup enterprises. Clear benefits emanate in the form of redundancy in IT operations, competitive price points offered by multiple vendors of cloud services, and a pronounced ability to scale operations across multiple cloud networks. In addition, ambitious operators of startups gain the ability to reduce migration costs that may appear in the future. The outlines of such strategy (and multiple variations thereof), when charted inside a blueprint illustration, propel the evolution of a coherent business strategy. Additional impetus that justifies such a strategy emerges when we consider the fact commercial cloud service operators offer a variety of credit programs designed specifically for startups.

These attempts to illustrate and understand ‘Cloud’ for startups allow readers to appreciate the multiple facets of a modern cloud-based business strategy when endorsed by newly founded business enterprises. Flowcharts remain instrumental in locating and defining the various benefits that flow from adopting a cloud-first stance; in addition, every startup operator could discover unique strategies to reduce costs and realize additional benefits from aforesaid strategy. Advances and refinements must emerge as focus points in such entrepreneurial journeys, thereby creating incremental justification for understanding cloud technologies in the context of modern startups.

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