I’ve just found this story on the BBC website, stemming from the recent GeeknRolla event in London. Below are the the highlights (full story here). It’s interesting reading – all companies, from the smallest to the largest, are focusing on cost-trimming, and this story shows how cloud computing is proving its worth in this arena.
While traditional businesses around the world struggle with their bottom line, hi-tech start-ups are making use of all the latest money-saving tools at their disposal.
"Just five years ago, small businesses wouldn't have had access to half the tools that are available now on the internet", says Michael Jackson, an investor from Mangrove Capital.
"Companies that are cottoning on quickly to these tools are doing very well, and they are taking business away from those who are too slow to adapt."
In particular, Mr Jackson emphasises the importance of cloud computing, which allows a business to outsource the storage and processing of its data - such as email, financial accounts, and customer databases.
In fact, when asked to provide a top tip for traditional businesses, cloud computing was the most common answer among GeeknRolla attendees.
Many GeeknRolla attendees follow a methodology known as Lean Startup, which espouses a very specific model of a small business - one that updates its key product frequently and in response to constant feedback from customers. Although not a technology per se, the Lean Startup methodology has spread and developed largely through the internet. The term was coined by blogger Eric Reis and popularised by other influential bloggers, such as venture capitalist Dave McClure.
"It's about how to cut corners," says Damian Kimmelman, from start-up Duedil.
"If you start living and breathing that methodology, you find your own ways of working and you get rid of the [unnecessary features] in your product.
"You only focus on the things that are most essential and differentiate you from the competition - instead of trying to do things that companies with bigger budgets can do better than you."
Here at Microsoft we’re excited about the upcoming launch of Office 365, a cloud services offering that is ideal for small, lean startups. From just £4 per user per month, you’ll soon be able to subscribe and benefit from anywhere-access to email, documents, contacts and calendars on nearly any device, including PC, Mac, Windows Phone, iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
You can register for the Beta of Office 365 and learn more about cloud computing on our product page here.