Could the cloud protect you from the economy?

There’s been a sense amongst entrepreneurs and small business that if they’ve been able to grow over the past four years it’s been a bonus. Standing still, for many has been the aim. It’s been a challenging time but could investigating opportunities in the cloud help boost your business? News has been released about several small software firms who are planning to go public over the coming year. They include Atlassian and Tableau Software. Their aim is to take advantage of the growing trend for cloud computing adoption in the business world.

Increasingly, virtualization and Cloud Hosting is being seen as an income stream for these larger firms. Whether advertising, app creation, communication each of these companies has one thing in common; their services are based in the cloud. The sector itself is expected to grow to $288 billion this year and it’s being driven by entrepreneurs.

Admittedly, these are the kind of figures few of us will see and our corner of the market might be a tiny one, compared to the industry big hitters, but the approach is the same. Like every industry, technology changes rapidly. Facebook going public has showed the risks in place but also that there is potential if the focus is on winning over business investors, rather than trying to get the public on-side.

For freelancers, small business owners and contractors the approach is the same. Focus on offering more services to the business community itself and you shore up a revenue outlet for the future. Cloud Hosting offer an opportunity to host websites for example. The process of virtualization removes the need to rely on one single server. The traditional model of internet hosting the problem always was if the server goes down, so does the website. Effectively renting a corner of a cloud server can offer a cost-effective solution for a small business to offer a new service. Virtualization means the properties of the physical server hosting the Cloud, the processor, memory, drives etc, can be accessed independently. It offers a bespoke solution for a web designer or copywriter, say, who wants to be able to offer their clients something more. Hosting also means the possibility of a regular income stream, good for covering the down periods through the summer.

When the economy is up and down confidence is always an issue. If the big businesses adopt a new approach to weather the storm then small firms and entrepreneurs can take note and adopt the same approach. If the cloud offers new opportunities then they should be seized. The key to successful business is diversifying, not staying doggedly on the same path.