Businesses are embracing technological advancements, and cloud computing is one part of it. As business organizations grow, they seek technologies that can make their work more accessible, and cloud platforms are paving the way. As cloud platform usage and its importance will stay the same in the coming years, knowing how to choose the best cloud platform for your organization is very important.
Cloud platforms are third-party platforms that help you maintain your infrastructure (servers, software, and other segments), applications, and organization storage. In addition, it is responsible for hosting, securing, and managing the data. Therefore, it is a crucial part of the organization.
As per the report of Crowd Research Partners, there is a threat among the organizations that their data might be at risk. So, with this spinning tension among businesses, knowing the criteria to choose the best cloud management service for the organization is of utmost importance.
So, let’s delve into this discussion of the best way to find the right cloud management platform. But first, let’s understand what a cloud service provider is.
What is a Cloud Service Provider?
A Cloud Service Provider is a third-party platform that maintains the organization’s infrastructure, software, and storage. Businesses are flourishing, and therefore, there is a requirement for better infrastructure that can save them from the physical constraints of business operations. Thus, this third-party cloud-based platform is essential for the organization for smooth functioning. Some well-known cloud-based platforms are Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Service (AWS), and Google Cloud. These cloud service platforms are divided into IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
However, there are various cloud-based platforms; you must select the best one for the business and adhere to the following criteria.
What to Consider While Choosing the Cloud Management Service for the Business?
Business set-ups have their own USPs, and every business has a different requirement. So, there is no one-size-fits-all policy in cloud service providers. Therefore, you must select the service provider suitable for your business plans, mission, and operations. First, let’s understand the criteria.
Cloud Service Technology
Cloud service management platforms have unique features and functions. You must ensure your business is compatible with the service provider and its technologies. Your current business environment must align with the service provider. To ensure this compatibility, you need to ask the following questions:
- Do the cloud platform architecture, services, and standards back your operations and management preference of your business?
- Are they offering migration services?
- What were their similar deployments and performance in such deployments?
- How does it plan to offer better services if there is any loophole?
Service Roadmap is essential to ensure a strong backup for any sector. Similarly, while choosing the right cloud management service provider, you must provide a service roadmap for the platform. It would be best if you analyzed the complete portfolio of services they can offer your business. To ensure that you get the best cloud platform, ask the questions like:
- What is their roadmap, and what do they plan for innovation to ensure that there is always a better service facility for your business?
- Whether their long-term vision is compatible with your business vision?
As an enterprise, data security is of utmost importance to ensure a smooth function in the organization. Therefore, the right cloud platform must provide better security features like data encryption, backup, disaster recovery provisions, compliance certifications, access controls, and other security requirements. In addition, you must ensure that the cloud service provider meets all the compliance requirements, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) and HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
The compliance requirements are essential to fulfill the business. Therefore, you must ensure that the cloud platform meets these requirements.
Cost is another important factor when selecting the best Enterprise Cloud Service. Again, there are various parameters; the payment should be upfront, pay-as-you-go, or any other method. The business must also clarify discounts, reservations, volume, and different segments, which decide the best and most influential cloud platform. Finally, you must compare the costs to know the best price with effective and efficient features. However, while comparing, you must understand that some platforms might give attractive prices initially to make you their consumer, but later they might increase it. So, at this stage, you must choose wisely.
The business must ensure its functions are compatible with the cloud management platform. The compatibility is vital because it is a long process requiring essential data storage and management. Therefore, compatibility is necessary for the business to avoid suffering and incur financial losses.
The business is destined to grow, so the cloud platform must also prepare to grow along with the company. The cloud architecture is essential in this scenario; you must know whether the cloud platform can fulfill current and future needs. There are various advancements like serverless options, microservices, and multi-cloud platforms. So, your cloud platform must be able to provide these services to you in the present scenario and the future.
Supports and Service Level Agreements
A cloud management service provider must be transparent with its services and contracts. They must indicate what services they will provide to your business. In the agreement, it is also essential to imbibe the feature of what they will do if there is any loophole or issue. So, this issue resolution option and its time is also necessary to check while selecting the right cloud platform for the business.
Migration Support, Vendor Lock-in, and Exit Support
Vendor Lock-in is a problem when transferring to the competitor’s cloud platform. It occurs due to a unique cloud platform feature separate from the competitor service provider. So, when the business plans to migrate to the other platform, there are issues in transferring. Therefore, you must check the cloud platform’s lock-in and exit support to ensure smooth migration among the media.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Cloud Platform
Business requirements and goals:
A survey by RightScale found that 96% of respondents said that their organizations were using cloud services in some form or another, with 81% of enterprises having a multi-cloud strategy. (Source: RightScale, “2018 State of the Cloud Report”)
Budget and cost considerations:
A survey by Flexera found that 93% of organizations surveyed were using cloud services, with 83% of respondents saying that they had a multi-cloud strategy. Cost optimization was the top cloud challenge for respondents. (Source: Flexera, “2020 State of the Cloud Report”)
Security and compliance requirements:
A study by Gartner found that by 2025, 99% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault due to misconfigurations, rather than the cloud provider’s fault. (Source: Gartner, “Top Security and Risk Management Trends”, 2020)
Scalability and flexibility requirements:
A survey by Densify found that 85% of cloud adopters said that scalability was their top priority when selecting a cloud provider. (Source: Densify, “2020 Cloud Usage Report”)
Integration with existing systems and applications:
A study by IDG found that 67% of organizations surveyed said that integration with existing systems was a top concern when moving to the cloud. (Source: IDG, “Cloud Computing Survey”, 2020)
Technical expertise and support:
A report by Gartner found that by 2022, 75% of organizations will experience visible business disruptions due to an inability to manage their digital competencies. (Source: Gartner, “Predicts 2021: Accelerate Results Beyond Digital Transformation”, 2020)
Business technologies take a considerable toll, so they must be chosen carefully. There are various assessment factors that you have to consider, like the soft factors of the features and standards and complicated factors like certifications, contracts, cost, and many more.
So, it would help to consider them seriously to ensure the cloud platform is compatible with the enterprise’s demands and functions. advansappz is one of the best platforms to provide suitable solutions for cloud computing platforms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Assess Your Requirements: Begin by understanding your business requirements and objectives for adopting cloud services. Consider factors such as scalability needs, required performance levels, data security and compliance requirements, budget constraints, and the specific workloads or applications you plan to migrate to the cloud.
Evaluate Service Offerings: Research and compare different cloud service providers to assess the range of services they offer. Consider infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS) offerings, as well as specialized services like database hosting, machine learning, or content delivery networks (CDNs). Ensure that the provider’s service offerings align with your specific needs.
Consider Cloud Deployment Models: Determine which cloud deployment model suits your business: public, private, or hybrid cloud. Public clouds are managed by third-party providers, private clouds are dedicated to a single organization, and hybrid clouds combine public and private cloud environments. Assess which deployment model aligns with your data privacy, security, and compliance requirements.
Security and Compliance: Evaluate the security measures and compliance certifications offered by cloud service providers. Consider factors such as data encryption, access controls, threat monitoring, and compliance with relevant regulations (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS). Assess the provider’s track record for security incidents and their ability to meet your specific industry requirements.
Performance and Reliability: Consider the provider’s track record for uptime and reliability. Assess their data centers’ locations and availability zones, network infrastructure, redundancy measures, and disaster recovery capabilities. Look for service level agreements (SLAs) that guarantee a certain level of uptime and performance.
Assess Your Needs: Understand your specific requirements and objectives for adopting a cloud platform. Consider factors such as the types of applications and workloads you need to run, the level of scalability and performance required, data security and compliance requirements, budget constraints, and any specific features or services you may need.
Evaluate Platform Types: Familiarize yourself with the different types of cloud platforms available: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Understand the differences and determine which type aligns best with your needs and the level of control and management you require.
Consider Deployment Models: Decide on the deployment model that suits your business: public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud. Public clouds are managed by third-party providers, private clouds are dedicated to a single organization, and hybrid clouds combine public and private cloud environments. Evaluate which deployment model aligns with your data privacy, security, and compliance requirements.
Security and Compliance: Assess the security measures and compliance certifications offered by cloud platforms. Consider factors such as data encryption, access controls, threat monitoring, and compliance with relevant regulations (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS). Evaluate the platform’s track record for security incidents and their ability to meet your specific industry requirements.
Performance and Reliability: Evaluate the platform’s performance and reliability. Consider factors such as uptime guarantees, availability zones, data center locations, network infrastructure, redundancy measures, and disaster recovery capabilities. Look for service level agreements (SLAs) that guarantee a certain level of uptime and performance.
Scalability and Flexibility: Consider if your business requires the ability to rapidly scale up or down its IT resources based on demand. Cloud computing offers scalability and flexibility, allowing you to easily adjust your computing resources as needed, avoiding upfront investments in hardware and infrastructure.
Cost Considerations: Evaluate the cost implications of adopting cloud computing. While cloud services often have pay-as-you-go pricing models, it’s important to compare the costs with your current IT setup and determine if the cloud will provide cost savings, especially considering factors like hardware, maintenance, upgrades, and energy costs.
Business Agility: Assess if your business needs the agility to quickly deploy new applications or services. Cloud computing offers rapid provisioning of resources, enabling faster time-to-market and reducing the time and effort required for infrastructure setup.
Geographic Flexibility and Remote Work: Consider if your business requires the ability to access data and applications from anywhere, enabling remote work and collaboration. Cloud computing allows employees to securely access information and systems remotely, facilitating flexible work arrangements and enhancing productivity.
Data Security and Compliance: Evaluate your data security and compliance requirements. Cloud service providers generally have robust security measures and compliance certifications, but it’s important to assess if the cloud provider aligns with your specific security and compliance needs, such as data encryption, access controls, and regulatory requirements.
IT Expertise and Resource Constraints: Consider your organization’s IT expertise and resource constraints. Cloud computing can alleviate the burden of infrastructure management, maintenance, and upgrades, allowing your IT staff to focus on more strategic initiatives. This is especially beneficial for businesses with limited IT resources or lacking specialized expertise in certain areas.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: Assess if your business needs robust disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities. Cloud platforms often provide built-in redundancy and backup solutions, reducing the risk of data loss and facilitating faster recovery in the event of a disaster.
Integration with Existing Systems: Evaluate the compatibility and integration capabilities of your existing systems and applications with cloud solutions. Determine if your current infrastructure can seamlessly integrate with cloud services or if additional development or migration efforts are required.
Amazon Web Services (AWS): AWS is one of the leading cloud platforms, offering a broad range of services and extensive global infrastructure. It provides a comprehensive suite of services, including compute, storage, networking, databases, AI/ML, analytics, and more. AWS has a vast ecosystem, extensive documentation, and a large community, making it suitable for organizations of all sizes.
Microsoft Azure: Azure is a cloud platform provided by Microsoft, offering a wide range of services similar to AWS. It provides strong integration with Microsoft’s existing ecosystem, making it advantageous for organizations already utilizing Microsoft technologies. Azure also offers a robust set of tools for hybrid cloud deployments and has a strong focus on enterprise-grade security and compliance.
Google Cloud Platform (GCP): GCP is Google’s cloud platform, known for its strengths in data analytics, AI/ML capabilities, and containerization technologies. It offers services for computing, storage, networking, big data, and machine learning. GCP’s focus on open-source technologies, scalability, and high-performance computing can be particularly appealing to organizations with data-intensive workloads.
When considering cloud computing, there are several important factors to take into account. Here are five key considerations:
Security and Privacy: Security is a critical consideration when moving data and applications to the cloud. Evaluate the cloud service provider’s security measures, including data encryption, access controls, threat detection, and incident response capabilities. Additionally, consider the provider’s privacy policies and compliance with relevant data protection regulations.
Cost and Financial Implications: Assess the cost implications of adopting cloud computing. While cloud services offer scalability and pay-as-you-go pricing models, it’s important to analyze the total cost of ownership (TCO), including upfront costs, ongoing subscription fees, resource usage charges, and any additional costs for data transfer, storage, or support. Consider the financial impact and potential cost savings compared to on-premises infrastructure.
Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: Evaluate the cloud provider’s compliance with relevant regulations and industry standards. Depending on your business, you may need to comply with specific regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, or SOC 2. Ensure that the cloud provider offers appropriate security controls, data residency options, and compliance certifications necessary for your industry.
Data Portability and Vendor Lock-In: Consider the ability to move your data and applications between different cloud platforms or back to on-premises infrastructure if needed. Assess the ease of migration, data formats, and the degree of vendor lock-in associated with the chosen cloud provider. Avoid proprietary solutions that may hinder data portability and limit flexibility in the future.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: Evaluate the cloud provider’s capabilities for business continuity and disaster recovery. Assess their redundancy measures, data backup strategies, and disaster recovery plans to ensure your critical data and applications are adequately protected. Look for options such as multiple availability zones, automated backups, and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS).