From email to social media and even CRM software, most modern businesses these days use cloud solutions as their primary software platform.
The cloud is a cost-effective and convenient way to store and access data remotely. You can have everything on a single device without having to worry about where your data is stored or how much it will cost you in the long run to maintain it.
However, it can be difficult to know which platform is right for your business needs.
Selecting the right cloud service provider
Cloud computing is an online environment that allows companies to store, process, and manage their data remotely without having to deal with hardware and infrastructure costs.
The three biggest cloud platform providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to a Synergy Report, AWS runs 33% of all apps and has a 33% market share. Microsoft has 21%, and GCP 9%. IBM Cloud and Alibaba trail, and are typically more compact and specialised than the major players, but they may have the services you need.
The first thing you should do when choosing a cloud provider is evaluate your needs. Once you have determined your specific needs, you can start looking at the different cloud services and determine which one is best suited for your needs.
Unlike with your on-premises architecture, you don’t have direct control over your cloud data. This means that you are putting your data in the hands of the cloud service provider and their staff.
In order to reduce the potential risks associated with this, the cloud service provider will typically provide security features such as a security policy, data encryption, and access control. This means that you are taking some control over the security of your data.
However, you want to make sure that the security measures are appropriate for your needs. For example, if you are storing highly sensitive data in the cloud, you may need more security than what is provided by the average cloud service.
Security and compliance
Cloud security is a high priority in everything, so it’s imperative to seek out details and specifics that match your business needs, industry standards, regulatory demands, and other issues.
When comparing vendors, look at the features that are built into the software out of the box and consider whether you’ll need to add third-party technology to supplement those features. You may need to consider whether paid services are available from the vendors.
Make sure you select a cloud infrastructure platform that meets your compliance standards. Whether you are bound by GDPR, HIPAA, or any other regulations, you must know what it will take to ensure your applications and data are properly safeguarded when they’re hosted in a public cloud infrastructure. You must also know where your responsibilities lie and which compliance tasks the vendor will assist you with.
Storage and scalability
As your business grows, you will likely need to add more data storage. How much data storage you need will depend on your business needs, but cloud service providers typically charge by the amount of disk space required.
You should choose a cloud service that offers scalability. This means that as your business grows and expands, your cloud solution will be able to handle the increased workloads. If you select a cloud service that doesn’t offer scalability, you may find yourself having to replace your cloud solution sooner than you would prefer.
Reliability and performance
You want to make sure that the cloud service provider you select has proven reliability and performance. This can be done by looking at reviews of past clients as well as the certifications held by the cloud service provider. If you are looking at a particular cloud service, you may want to look at the certifications held by the service provider.
Every cloud provider will experience downtime at some point, which is inevitable. The most important thing is how the provider handles that downtime. Make sure the monitoring and reporting tools supplied are sufficiently comprehensive and may be integrated with your other management systems.
Make sure the provider you’ve chosen has a well-defined, documented and proven process for dealing with planned and unplanned downtime. Their procedures should detail how they will alert customers to disruptions, including when they should be contacted, how they should be prioritized, and how severe the problems will be assessed.
When evaluating a cloud provider, think about how your current and future business processes will be affected by the platform’s architecture. For example, if you’ve invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, Azure might be an excellent choice. Because Microsoft gives its customers licenses for their platforms, if your organisation relies more on Amazon or Google services, it might be simple to integrate and consolidate them.
Find the right cloud platform with the experts
Choosing the right cloud solution for your business is crucial. Cloud computing offers many benefits, but it also brings with it some risks and some responsibilities. To reduce those risks and responsibilities, you’ll need to carefully evaluate your business’ specific needs and the cloud services available.
The cloud specialists at Technology Solutions will advise you on the right cloud solution for your business, implement a migration strategy, and optimize your entire cloud environment.