How To Choose The Right Cloud Service Providers

By John Wallace
Meta: Based on the requirements and criteria that you’ve set out, you should be able to pick out the best and deserving Cloud services providers to be a part of the business.

Introduction

As Information Technology grow day by day, the use of Cloud services is becoming more common and compulsory. Cloud services vary in accordance to different types of businesses and how you set the conditions or criteria will create the business’s uniqueness. However, with its huge market, there are a lot of options to choose from when picking out a Cloud service provider. Therefore, one should carefully consider every factor in all aspects so that the services provided can make the most out of your business.
Cloud providers, also known as Cloud service providers or CSPs, are companies that can provide basic services of Cloud computing, which are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS), to companies, individuals or businesses.

How To Choose The Right Cloud Service Providers

Price

While some Cloud providers usually claim to have the lowest rates, upfront fees and long-term contracts are still a concern. It’s best to look out for fixed pricing plans before signing up with any CSP and choose the ones that offer flexibility in their pricing, so you can make changes without a hassle based on your business needs.
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Getting proper Cloud consulting and solutions will help your business in cost-savings, gain revenues and also allows it to operate effectively.  Although not the determining factor, price still play an important role in choosing Cloud service providers. Take a quick look at this pricing plan from major Cloud service providers:

  • *Amazon Web Services (AWS): Amazon charges you based on the rounded number of hours used and there are three ways that you can buy instances. On-demand instances mean you pay only for how much you use without any upfront payment. Reserved instances are for those who want to pay upfront and use for the next 2 or 3 years. Lastly, the Spot instance allows users to bid for the available extra storage. 
  • *Google Cloud Platform (GCP): Google charges you based on the rounded number of minutes used with a 10-minute minimal
  • *Azure: Azure charges customers based on the rounded number of minutes. They also provide short-term contracts and discounts for upfront payments. 
There’s not much of a difference in prices from different providers. Instead, you should be mindful of the usage and decide which pricing plan will be most suited for your business regarding the model, budget or the timeline.

Specialty

If you’re seeking a Cloud service provider for a business, it’s best to choose one that is proficient in the industry and well-matched for the specific software that your business needs. Proactive Cloud experts also take this chance to find out what Cloud users need so they should be able to offer you the best possible services. Ask yourself: Does the provider’s Cloud architectures, standards and services suit your business software? You also need to figure out how much re-coding or customization you might need to do in order to suit your partner’s platforms.

Reliability and Performance

Firstly, data should be accessible. A reliable Cloud vendor is one that can thoroughly handle highly powerful bandwidth on its servers while exchanging files and data in uptime. If you want to avoid traffic while the website operates, then you might want to consider choosing a provider that can maintain the whole hosting environment. Outages are inevitable and it’s up to the provider to handle it efficiently with their monitoring and report tools.

Making sure that the Cloud vendor has a strong, secured network and is capable of reacting quickly in case disaster strikes is necessary when you want to work with a resilient and consistent network connection, the basis of Cloud apps and services. Cloud service providers should give out a plan to communicate during the disruptions regarding timeliness, prioritization and severity level assessment of issues.

Security

Files and data need to be encrypted to avoid losing confidential data or information. There should be a comprehensive security infrastructure for all levels and types of Cloud services.
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If you consider security your top priority, look for providers with certifications like ISO 27001 or the government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme. For example, Amazon Web Services is one of the first major Cloud providers with good security (see Shared Responsibility Model documentation), and also highly scalable, flexible with cost-efficient pricing plans. Other approaches to security such as Google’s or Azure’s are also good places to start from and see if it meets the business needs and criteria.

Finance

The number of years in operation (at least 10 years) and stock market positions are factors that can reflect the financial stability of your Cloud provider. If possible, you should consider looking into the provider’s stock prices and financial reports to see if that provider is best suited for your business

Management

It’s a good idea to pick out a provider that enables the IT staff to have a general control over the entire servers, in which data is stored, processed and managed, efficiently without any complications.

User-Friendly

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Customer support is one of the most important services that most consumers want to guarantee in business, so you should make sure that the provider can help you work with customers 24/7 by email, call or chat. Instead of just focusing on sales and profits, business is reliable and become prestigious when it gets positive feedback or satisfaction from customers and employees in various sources over the Internet.

Transparency

To prevent outage during peak periods and to get your clients’ personal information compromised, you should check out the service level agreements (SLA) for the past 6-12 months, security and terms of service of the Cloud service provider beforehand. Not just the pricing plans, everything such as the data center locations has to be made apparent so as to avoid any unfortunate incidents and misinformation such as a vendor lock-in. Before signing a contract, take notice of the provider’s exit provisions since leaving a CSP isn’t always well and smooth and make sure to have a clear exit plan.

Integration

Since on-premises software is widely used, providers today are pretty laid-back when migrating the entire infrastructure to Cloud. If you see benefits in the Cloud that can maximize the potential of the software used by your business, then you should look for Cloud providers that can integrate network resources into Cloud apps and servers at ease. Even when you aren’t prepared to move the infrastructure, the provider should be open for other solutions, providing users flexibility.

Conclusion

Based on the requirements and criteria that you’ve set out, you should be able to pick out the best and deserving Cloud services provider to be a part of the business. Ideally, the provider might not only offer you the best services and platform, but it will also maximize the potential of your business, increasing the chances of success. To make that a reality, educate yourself and you can effectively evaluate different Cloud service providers backed up with facts then improve your business to a worldwide level.