Whether you are a small store or a large enterprise, the cloud has become essential if you're working on a great idea. The cloud let's you work immediately without worrying about any digital infrastructure. While this sounds extremely central in terms of utility, it's not particularly straightforward. Although there's no dearth of cloud providers, access to cloud is mostly contingent to availability of a credit card.
The Upfront Cloud - Access For Everyone
Cloud services are necessary for many startups that need a sustainable way to bootstrap their operations and achieve their planned growth rate. We see many promising businesses fall apart from complicated billing issues that drain their funding.
Founders put their Amazon Web Services bills on their personal credit cards and other accounts. If someone leaves a server running by accident, the startup gets featured on high-traffic blogs or a hacker compromises the system, they're dealing with the financial damage for months afterward. Some founders may shy away from beginning their businesses due to hearing these stories.
The Problem With Cloud Billing
The sheer volume of cloud vendors is great for variety and healthy competition, but it's not great when a company gets dozens of invoices each month for services. Trying to track the bills and the contracts associated with the services quickly get overwhelming. Employees may add their own personal selections to further add to the confusion. Adding an AWS bill into the mix, with its fluctuating pay-as-you-go model, makes it difficult to adjust the budget consistently.
Before long, invoices either go unpaid or lead to massive overage charges on credit cards. It pains me to hear about a startup founder getting a declined card at the grocery store because they lost track of their cloud payments or had a sudden traffic spike. They didn't have many options at this point. They could waste their valuable time manually tracking everything, but that takes away from their primary goal of growing the company. An employee could dedicate themselves to managing these bills. Startups normally need people who wear many hats, so they still end up in a situation where critical work isn't getting accomplished.
Services are available for subscription management, but they're typically geared toward enterprise-level businesses. The startup could end up with a hefty bill and a bigger problem than they started with. They need a viable option that works with their risk profile and the resources they currently have.
Put The Risks & Costs Upfront
The best way to fix these problems is to avoid them entirely. Builder.ai's (previously SD Squared) Builder Cloud has launched a prepaid cloud Wallet ("Upfront Cloud Wallet") designed to open up access for everyone. The startup founder can put money into a prepaid wallet that goes toward AWS bills. When the account is drained, that's it. The founder isn't stuck with over-limit fees on their credit cards or massive overage charges that they can't accommodate in their budget.
All of the costs and risks are moved to the beginning of the process. Businesses gain predictable pricing and can concentrate on using AWS to build their apps and services. When they're about to run out of credit on their account, they receive a helpful reminder. At that point, they can add more funds or evaluate what's causing their usage to go up.
Builder Cloud allows businesses to save, automate, and optimize their AWS accounts. This useful platform provides free tools for monitoring and backup, as well as preventing bill shock with a prepaid wallet for AWS.
Many innovative startups are already operating at a loss in the attempt to make their visions a reality. They don't need to lose control over a resource that's a necessary cloud service for countless organizations, from one-person teams to massive enterprises. Engineer.ai gives them the tools they need to gain insight into their usage, plan for their ongoing expenses and not worry about damaging their credit. It's time for a new way to handle cloud services billing.
Katherine loves to write about technology and business operations.