Cloud computing has been around for some time now but many companies are still not using any of the cloud services even today. Considering the fact that such companies are being left behind by their competitors, more and more businesses have decided to leverage cloud computing to its fullest potential.
However, there’s a small problem, and that problem is how to choose the right cloud provider. How to choose one, indeed? The simplest answer would be picking the one that matches your business needs, but it’s never as simple as it may seem.
Every cloud provider is somewhat unique. They have various services based on different technologies that can aid you in one way or another. The main question is, what do you need the cloud for now, and what will you use it for in the future? Here are a few tips on how to choose the right cloud provider and deal with any dilemmas.
Determine your business needs
Before you decide which cloud provider to opt for, you should take the time to consider your business needs and why you need the cloud to begin with. As you may already know, cloud computing is a term that describes the use of software and hardware delivered to your company via the Internet.
Therefore, if you need the cloud so that you can seamlessly use various apps available via SaaS (Software as a Service), then any provider will do. However, if you want to develop in-house apps, software, or other solutions, you might need cloud services, such as PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).
In that case, you’re not looking for the best cloud provider but the right cloud provider. The best provided might be called the best for various reasons, but they might not have something specific that you need. On the other hand, the right provider may not be the best, but they can meet your business needs accordingly.
The main providers
When deciding which provider is the right for you, you have to know who the main providers are. That said, the main cloud providers are Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Amazon has their AWS (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft has Azure and Google has GCP (Google Cloud Platform).
Every one of these top providers has something unique to offer. Amazon, for example, has been on the market the longest, and they own 33% of the market share, followed by Microsoft with 13% and Google with 6%. There are other smaller and niche-specific providers, such as IBM and Rackspace. Each of these providers may be the right one for you, so it’s important to research what they have to offer.
Furthermore, whichever service you opt for, you can also find someone to manage these services for you. For instance, if you decide to go with Amazon, AWS cloud management solutions can help you utilize your services to their fullest potential. The beauty of the cloud is that you don’t have to be an expert to utilize its full potential.
One of the major concerns businesses have is how much the cloud services will cost, especially in the long run. Undoubtedly, you’ve heard by now that the cloud is very cost-effective. In other words, you pay for what you use based on a subscription model and nothing more.
Of course, some services are more expensive than others, so it’s important to match your budget with the costs of cloud services. Fortunately, many cloud providers have specific price structures that may suit your needs. Here are a few examples.
Amazon – Pay-as-you-go, reserved instances up to three years, and volume discounts.
Microsoft – On-demand bills per hours of usage, gigabytes used, or per millions of executions.
Google – Bills per second of usage, sustained-use pricing, and committed use discounts.
As you can see, each pricing model is unique and may suit your budget based on how you plan to use cloud services.
Other relevant criteria
Choosing the right cloud provider isn’t just about the services they offer. You want the best deal you can get your hands on, and you want cloud computing to work in your favor, not the other way around.
This is why it’s crucial that you evaluate other relevant criteria about the cloud providers before you opt for their services. Here are a few factors you should strongly consider:
- Customer support
- Service Levels
These factors are vital when choosing the right cloud provider. Take support, for example. Imagine facing a mission-critical issue, and the only way to contact support is via email. Waiting for hours to get a response may not be acceptable regardless of how good the provider is.
Choosing the right cloud provider is not an easy choice to make. Various providers have their unique offers, and you must consider those before opting in. More importantly, you must find a provider that will meet your needs, not just settle for the first provider you come across.
Guest Poster – Elaine Bennett
Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping Australian startups and small businesses grow. Besides that, she’s a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more entrepreneurs and help them on their business journey.