Whenever we meet with early-stage companies, we get asked the same question:

“How will we know when we’re ready to add our own infrastructure to our shared cloud?”

While there are many answers to this question, here are four indicators that it’s time to consider dedicated (or hybrid) infrastructure:

  1. “My cloud bill was WHAT?!?!”

Shared clouds are great for development, MVPs, and an initial launch. As your user base grows, so do your network, compute and storage requirements. These growing requirements can raise your monthly bill exponentially. It’s not atypical for us to receive a phone call when a company receives a surprising $10,000+ bill from their current cloud provider. Since most cloud services are pay-as-you-go, many companies simply don’t realize the cost of the allocated resources until it’s too late. Early stage companies can be too focused on growing their business and customer engagement to anticipate cloud transitions – as they should be.

  1. “I can’t be down!”

As your business becomes more visible in the marketplace, all eyes are on you. There comes a point during your growth when downtime becomes especially damaging from a financial and brand perspective. If you research and visit a service provider, you will have far better knowledge about the facility, operations, and SLAs associated with your infrastructure. That’s pretty difficult to do with a cloud-only strategy.

  1. “Our app is too slow.”

To stay ahead of demand, your app needs the finest performance. This is best achieved by a dedicated infrastructure designed to meet your unique requirements. We typically advise early stage companies to make sure their infrastructure is being planned 6-12 months ahead. If you expect to launch a video component or anticipate rapid (or exponential) user growth, reach out to providers sooner rather than later and get your ducks in a row. Engaging providers early and often will inform your eventual decision, help you proactively control costs, and hopefully, incorporate a trusted adviser (your provider) into your business strategy.

  1. “I need help.”

In most instances, early stage companies are also reaching out asking for help. In our conversations with founders they always ask for “proven ideas and solid resolutions” to “new to me” issues. When you reach the point that you need proven experience to assist in your infrastructure growth – you have reached a serious inflection point. Do I hire the talent, or do I select a partner who can help me through it?

If you find yourself saying any of these signs, feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to get our engineers and system administrators on the phone (or out to lunch!) to walk through some options.