The right cloud provider should be able to deliver scalable IT solutions to your business in an affordable and efficient way, resulting in lower costs and improved productivity.
Choosing the right provider can be difficult because the market is so competitive; there are certainly plenty of providers worth considering. Here are some tips to help you wade through the sea of cloud solutions.
Although it may not seem like a priority when choosing a cloud provider, the resilience of a service will quickly become important once your business starts relying on it.
Uptime determines the consistency with which you can expect to have access to whatever cloud service you have chosen. This is important not only for companies that run apps and storage data in the cloud, but for those that use it to host services to which customers have access. Cloud outages can be costly, not only impacting on productivity but also damaging your reputation, so you need to make sure that you choose a provider that can live up to the uptime promises that it makes.
Although many commentators discuss the cloud in broad, sweeping terms, it is actually a market that can be compartmentalised relatively easily. As such, you need to pick a provider based on the category of solution that it offers, whether that be IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) or any of the other variants.
There are also different standards upon which cloud platforms can be constructed, some of which are open source while others are locked down to a single provider. Knowing the difference between these can help you make the right choice.
Another variable to take into account is whether you want to adopt a private or public cloud service, with the third option being the implementation of a hybrid set-up that combines the two.
Private cloud solutions are generally harnessed by larger firms that need exclusive access to the resources of a dedicated IT set-up, while the public cloud delivers cost-effective flexibility. Taking the hybrid route is preferred by many businesses because it means they get the best of both worlds.
The true cost of the cloud is not tied up in the advertised price of a package because there are plenty of other expenses you will need to think about before you adopt, such as how migrating services to the cloud will eat away at your budget.
It is important to pick a provider that is willing to be as transparent about costs as possible, giving you a good set of expectations as to what adoption will cost and helping you to avoid any nasty surprises further down the line.
When it comes to the cloud, a great deal of the marketing hyperbole can be unhelpful in actually telling you whether or not a provider is worth using.
Instead of focusing on its sales pitch, you need to look at the provider’s track record and at the responses it has received from former clients. Testimonials, preferably sourced independently, can be valuable in giving you a fuller picture of what a provider can achieve away from the promotional jargon.
Remembering that your business needs to be in the driving seat throughout this process is also sensible. You do not want to get pushed into a package that is unsuitable or tied down to a contract that does not offer favourable terms to your company.
With all that in mind you should be better prepared to start looking for a suitable cloud service provider for your business.