Originally posted on the VentureFizz blog, real the full article there.

The surge of technology services companies on the web continues to drive down the cost and complexity of doing business as a startup. But finding the right companies to partner with, store your data with, and entrust the uptime of your business to can be intimidating. How does a startup know when it should turn to online tools, web sites, and “software as a service” solutions? Here are three signs you should be in search of a hosted solution:

  1. It's not your core competence. Unless you're an IT shop, you should be mucking about with your servers and network as little as possible. Unless you're an email service provider, you should leave email to the experts. Unless you're a hosting company, you should consider letting someone else manage your online video assets.
  2. It yields to economies of scale. While you can't justify all the time it'd take to really polish your collaboration tools, someone else is making the time because the benefits can be shared across thousands of their clients. While you can't build relationships with all the major browser vendors, you can find testing companies who have done it on your behalf.
  3. It streamlines your business and delights your customers. Business intelligence, customer support, presentations and collaboration are all areas you could live without, but with so many great solutions available at bargain prices, there's no excuse to not arm your employees and customers with a professional experience, even in your small startup.

To help you get started finding the right tools for your business, here are a few worth recommending:

Click through to see the 8 recommendations