October 21 2022
How do startups use the cloud?
Today’s startups are cloud-native businesses. With the freedom of a clean slate, they can use the newest services and frameworks, that are inaccessible to larger organizations with existing legacy software and policies. So what do startups in the cloud use? Let’s have a look!
No-code and low-code tools are development environments that require little to no knowledge of programming. Startups use them to build anything from a static landing page, to a prototype, to sometimes even a final product.
Examples of popular no-code tools are Webflow or Bubble.
Platform as a Service
These platforms offer an opinionated mix of managed services combined with a great developer experience. For startups that fit the mold, this is an attractive offering, because with minimal effort, developers can build on top of a globally scalable platform.
Examples of popular platforms are render or Fly.io.
Web Platform as a Service
These are also platforms as a service, but primarily oriented around hosting highly scalable and dynamic web applications. They have support for running logic in the backend, precompiling and caching content and many other peripheral features.
Examples of popular platforms are Vercel or Netlify.
With serverless, developers can simply upload the code that their application needs, without having to worry about any of the boilerplate or infrastructure needed to make this code run. The function will run on-demand on shared infrastructure. A great detail: When it doesn’t run, it usually doesn’t cost anything.
Serverless is making inroads in many places. Examples are Vercel Functions, AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions or Cloudflare Workers.
Many of the tools mentioned before actually run on top of the world’s biggest cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure. So startups use them, even if not directly.
But there’s other reasons for startups to explicitly use a fully fledged cloud provider. At an early point it might be due to favorable pricing structures, additional features, or because the startup requires a degree of professionalization in their infrastructure that only a classic cloud provider can offer.
Examples of classic cloud providers are Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure or Hetzner.
Startups use a variety of modern tools, from no-code to classic cloud infrastructure providers. Using no-code tools allows even non-programmers to code a landing page or a prototype. Platforms as a Service make it very easy to develop even complex applications with less hassle. Classic infrastructure providers offer the most complete and feature-rich offering, having a higher ramp-up phase, but providing benefit in the long run, especially for larger startups or enterprises.