Traditionally, businesses used computers and hard/flash drives within their offices to store all their data. This was an unhealthy practice as it was really expensive, made information difficult to access and also created a lack of physical space. Cloud computing became a better alternative as businesses were able to access all their information through any internet-connected device. In fact, as of 2020 90% of the companies globally have adopted cloud computing.
Cloud computing is the best way of managing the computing resources of your business online.
Benefits of availing cloud computing services:
- Easy to Maintain: Maintaining IT infrastructure can be quite difficult and can deviate the company’s focus on its core tasks as it demands a lot of time and resources. Going for a cloud computing service provider who will provide you with infrastructure and will cater to all your requirements is a better option especially for small companies who cannot afford to hire Enterprise IT professionals.
- No Additional skills required: Availing Cloud computing services will not require you or your team to develop strong computing skills. The cloud service provider will provide your company with all the technical support you need.
- Scalable: The best part of cloud computing is that it is highly scalable. You can sign up with a cloud service provider within seconds, determine which resources you need and add them to your account. Scalability also means that you will be able to add IT resources to a new branch of your company or a new project you will be working on.
- Flexibility: Cloud computing service providers help businesses to be more flexible in their daily work practices as all their systems and data can be accessed in real-time through devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops over the internet quickly.
Here are all the important factors you need to consider before picking a cloud computing service provider for your company:
1. Define Your Company’s Requirements: To shortlist and select the appropriate cloud service provider for your company, you must first define your business requirements. You can make a clear decision once you have assessed what your expectations are in terms of features, the reputation of the vendor, security, support, reliability and performance.
2. Pricing levels: Pricing is an important factor before you choose the best cloud service provider for your company. You should ensure that you are paying only for the features you are using. Switching to a cloud service provider for the first time can be confusing. You need to beware of additional upfront charges as trustworthy cloud services do not tend to charge extra. If possible, go with the pay-as-you-go model, this will allow you to add or remove services as you wish. Depending on the provider, you will usually be charged on an annual, quarterly, monthly or even on an hourly basis.
3. Data Security: Storing your company’s fundamental data on a cloud can sound very risky if there is no guarantee of online safety. Cloud service providers must offer standard security measures and should ensure that there are no malicious attacks on the data stored. Anti-virus detection, regular security studies, user verification, firewalls and data encryption are the security measures you should seek. You also need to find out how your shortlisted cloud service providers plan to protect their servers when faced with natural disasters and also inquire about the location of the servers.
4. Consider Cloud Storage Architecture: During your search for a cloud service provider you need to consider how the architecture will be integrated into your current and future workflows. If your company has been utilising Microsoft for most operations you should consider Azure and if your organisation leans on Amazon you can consider Amazon Web Services (AWS). There are three major cloud architectures namely Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). SaaS is the cheapest way for you to migrate to the cloud and it is completely an internet-based service. PaaS is great for reducing coding time and you can pay based on your usage. While in IaaS the cloud service provider is responsible for maintaining all the essential physical resources such as web servers, databases, storage and network.
5. Check for support: It is wise to pick a cloud service provider that offers 24/7 assistance and support. You need to also think about whether you will be comfortable getting help from a call centre or a chat service. Avoid a vendor lock situation wherein you cannot switch to another cloud service provider when needed. Make sure that your vendor does not use any proprietary technology or limit using any services that can hinder migration.
In conclusion, the above five factors will help to determine which cloud computing provider is suitable for your company needs. Migration to a cloud service provider is a necessity but ensure that you select a reputed vendor who is well-known in the market and is considered reliable.
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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