Starting a business isn’t easy. It takes an incredible amount of work and perseverance, as well as the fortitude to go out on a limb.
Starting a successful business is even more difficult, requiring the vision to identify a viable market opportunity and, more often than not, a healthy amount of luck. According to the U.S. Small Business Association, roughly half of all newly established companies survive five years or more.1
There’s a wide range of variables that can contribute to the success or failure of new businesses. Many of the major forces, such as the health of the economy or the tax and policy environment, tend to be fairly cyclical. However, there’s one significant element that has improved at an accelerating rate over the past few decades and made it much easier to start a new business today: technology.
The benefits of modern technology for new businesses can be seen most acutely in the cloud. It has leveled the playing field for enterprise technology by allowing smaller organizations to tap into software and infrastructure that would have been extremely expensive through a traditional on-premises purchase.
Something like an email server that used to require an upfront investment along with ongoing maintenance and upkeep can now be “consumed” on an as-needed basis. Cloud capabilities have enabled a software-as-a-service delivery model that’s perhaps the technology breakthrough for entrepreneurs since the internet.
The cloud eliminates the need to predict what your technology requirements will be months or years down the road—just adjust your subscription whenever they increase or decrease. As a result, organizations can be more agile, adjusting technology to meet changing business requirements. Another benefit is that technology shifts from a large capital expense to a manageable operational expense, simplifying cost projections in the process.
All of this has contributed to a rapid increase in cloud adoption for small and midsized businesses over a short period of time. In fact, IDC estimates that it has gone from below 20% just five years ago to roughly 75% of small companies and 95% of midsized organizations today.2