By Glen Tona
It’s undeniable that cloud is one of the most transformative technologies of the decade. From permeating our daily lives via social media to everyday use in business, the cloud is becoming an increasingly essential technology for driving creativity and collaboration, and is capable of altering the very fabric of society.
As the cloud market grows, it’s crucial to make it even more accessible and comprehensive for startups. Though almost all startups today are using the cloud in some capacity, as an industry, we can do more to open it up more broadly, and doing so will serve to level the competitive playing field for burgeoning companies and innovators globally.
Below are three ways we can help startups use cloud to its maximum potential:
Free access to the cloud — Young companies need a strong IT infrastructure to quickly launch their businesses and spend their resources and time on coding, building and scaling their innovations – not fixing IT problems. However, many of the most promising companies remain strapped for cash when they’re just getting off the ground, which is why the tech industry needs more initiatives which give startups the free access to cloud power that they need. At IBM, for example, we’ve just kicked off the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups today – offering qualifying startups $120,000 worth of IBM cloud usage.
Unlimited access to leading cloud tools — On top of a robust cloud infrastructure, early stage startups also need access to the latest and greatest development tools, in order to have a chance at chance at competing with the entrenched industry incumbents. Because young startups often have top levels of agility and flexibility, they can build on top of these tools to accelerate the innovation these tools can create at astounding rates.
Ability to get in front of large enterprises — Increasingly, larger companies are not necessarily viewing startups as competitors, but as problem solvers and as key tools to solving some of an industry’s greatest challenges. As a young company develops products and scales, its leaders also need to have a large amount of visibility and connections with large companies, with whom they can partner to bring their products into new sectors and markets.
Fueling innovation with cloud at this level of the ecosystem will help to both accelerate the adoption of cloud within the tech industry, as well as provide aspiring innovators with the right set of tools they need to turn their ideas into reality.
At the Bluemix Garage, where I work, we can’t wait to see the thinkers, creators and inventors that will walk through our doors as a result of having the enormous power of cloud at their fingertips. If you’d like to be one of them, visit http://ibm.biz/CloudStartup