Tip for PHL start-ups: Look to the cloud
THE global Covid-19 pandemic has preyed on the elderly and people with noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory disease claiming the lives of more than a million people. But the deaths aren’t just limited to people as the economic repercussions of the extended lockdowns have also led to the demise of countless businesses.
And while we all look forward to positive news about a possible vaccine in the coming months, businesses do not have the luxury of waiting for a cure that will allow people to live their normal lives.
But there is no going back for business, and the challenge will be to adapt and be ready for the next normal. The situation is even more crucial for start-ups who must face the challenge of optimizing operational costs with limited capital runway.
At a recent briefing on cost optimization for start-ups, experts pointed to the cloud as one of the solutions as the world makes a concerted thrust towards a more digital way of life.
Digbijoy Shukla, Business Development Lead in Startup Business Development for Amazon Web Services (AWS), said the three biggest budget components for start-ups are: (1) people (2) cloud and IT and (3) marketing. While there are also budgetary considerations for bigger conglomerates facing the pandemic, start-ups are different in that they do not have the same amount of resources to work with. For a start-up that’s not yet profitable, every peso counts, and it is extremely important to optimize costs and manage capital far more efficiently.
According to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), 48 percent of start-up owners feel threatened by the impact of Covid-19 on their businesses despite measures that have been put in place. The top-cited concerns for start-ups included: Financial Impact (62 percent), Potential Global
Recession (56 percent), Funding Difficulties (49 percent), and Decline in Demand (40 percent).
Shukla, who was a founder of a start-up himself before joining AWS, said cloud usage for start-ups has four benefits that include cost effectiveness, faster iteration with low financial impact, quicker scaling and hypergrowth support as they can go global in minutes.
He is one of many within the AWS Startup Team that have extensive experience in the startup industry—enabling the leading cloud services provider to intimately understand the unique challenges faced by start-ups throughout their journey, from ideation to growth.
AWS tools and solutions boast unparalleled flexibility and versatility. For instance, Cost Explorer helps start-ups identify unusual cost events automatically while AWS Well Architected Tool (WAR) reviews current workloads and compares them to best practices, allowing for further optimizations in the future. The AWS pricing model can also help startups save up to 72 percent on cloud usage by simply committing to a consistent amount of usage (e.g. $10/ hour) over one or three years. Ventaja, a Philippine technology solutions provider, was able to lower its operational costs by 60 percent by running on AWS. Quadx, the innovation arm of parent company LBC Express, uses AWS Lambda with Amazon
API Gateway and Amazon SNS to run serverless architecture and automate testing of microservices. By adopting serverless technology on AWS, Quadx has reduced monthly infrastructure spending from $8,000 to $600.
As the pandemic continues, AWS believes that start-ups need low-cost, easy-to-use infrastructure that they can use to scale and grow their businesses.
SAVE MONEY BY WORKING REMOTELY
NOW that a larger number of employees are working remotely, one common topic of discussion is how money-saving this work arrangement can actually be for individuals. But what about businesses? Do organizations stand to save money by hiring remote workers and switching to virtual offices as well? The short answer is yes and here’s why.
First is you can save on manpower fees. In a virtual office setting, there is greater flexibility when hiring remote employees on a full-time, part-time, or perproject basis. Because of this, employers have the freedom to hire remote workers that are a better fit for the tasks at hand, helping to ensure higher quality results with minimal supervision needed. With agile, flexible working hours, overtime costs are also reduced.
It also reduces overhead expenses. A smaller office means lower rental fees. An office that is entirely virtual eliminates real estate costs significantly. Expenses for utilities, such as electricity, water, and communications are minimized as well. Remote work also entails little expense on equipment and maintenance on the part of a business owner.
Setting up a dependable IT infrastructure at work takes a huge chunk out of a company’s budget. When working remotely, costly hardware and software are replaced with Internet-based office solutions and cloud-based storage.
The right software for virtual team collaboration can help business owners significantly slash expenses. This is where Lark comes in.
Lark is an all-in-one collaborative app that is absolutely free for remote teams. Compared to other apps, Lark was built from the ground up as a wholistic solution, not as individual features and its focus is on creating a seamless collaboration experience on all devices so that it can work better with your team.
Communication is quick and easy with Lark Chat. For virtual face-to-face conversations with a single employee or the entire team, there’s Lark Video Conferencing, which allows unlimited video call minutes for up to 100 participants. Whether your team is local or spread out across different continents, scheduling meetings, events, and tasks is a breeze through Lark Calendar with its smart, multi-time zone feature.
How easy is it for a business to transition to Lark Suite? To get companies started, Lark has self-help guides (online, completely free) to help incorporate it into your existing work schedule. They also have consultants (both business and technical) that can assist users with onboarding and/or transition.
Among its unique features include Magic Share where you can edit Docs with multiple users, realtime commenting, right from within the Lark video call window. It helps keep everyone on the same page, and solves the trouble of coediting documents during meetings. That version you edit is always up-to-date. Everything you need for work is stored in the cloud on Lark, ensuring 24/7 access from anywhere, using any device. The app uses an AWS certification that complies with the strictest rules regarding cloud computing, so your focus can remain on completing tasks and achieving your goals.