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3 Things To Consider Before You Invest In A New Cloud Provider

Cloud computing is becoming the new standard for business, with a greater number of organisations looking to move beyond standalone cloud applications, to having a greater portion, if not all of their IT environment in the cloud.

This trend is resulting in a decline in businesses utilising on-premise servers, especially small and medium sized enterprises. In fact, according to research from the International Data Corporation, global IT hardware budgets for on-premise infrastructure was expected to decline by 4 per cent in 2016, as service providers and enterprises move to the cloud.

Cloud computing has the ability to increase mobility, scalability and security for your business, while simultaneously producing greater cost benefits. It eliminates the need to invest in costly on-premise servers and hardware, while lowering support costs and minimising complications associated with outdated technology, by offering automatic update features.

Here are three important considerations to factor in when deciding which cloud provider will be the best fit for your business.

Which cloud is best

 

Picking the most appropriate type of cloud level for your business will depend largely on the resources you have access to. There are a number of cloud options to choose from including public, private and hybrid clouds.

Public cloud offerings are dominated by brands like Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Yes they offer big possibilities, but only if you have the technical support to maximise this. The downside to these larger providers is they can be expensive, complicated and impersonal.

For small and medium sized businesses private cloud providers may be a better option. These can offer a more personalised and customised service while also benefitting from the sharing of IT resources across multiple applications and/or locations.

As the name implies, hybrid clouds use a combination of on-premise, private and public cloud services. They can expand capacity quickly but can be complicated to set up and run, resulting in a greater potential for things to go wrong, more downtime and more costs. Also, the on-premise equipment required can be expensive, and likewise, the ongoing maintenance.

Migration to the cloud

 

How your data will be migrated from your on-premise server to the cloud is a vital consideration. You want this process to be as seamless and frictionless as possible, with no interruptions or downtime. Ask your cloud provider to provide customer references so you can check their past performance regarding the migration process.

The migration process can represent significant risk if not handled correctly. Before you migrate fully to the new cloud platform, ensure you test before you go live. It’s also important to have safety mechanisms in place so if things go wrong you can correct issues or even revert to the old system if need be.

The safety of your data

 

How would your business cope if tomorrow morning your business critical data gets compromised? Data security is a growing concern for many business leaders, affecting all organisations regardless if their data is stored in the cloud or in on-premise servers.

Due diligence is necessary when considering cloud providers. Whether your data is stored on an on-premise server or in the cloud, you must seek to ensure it will be safe from unauthorised access, protected from viruses and backed up regularly.

Ask questions concerning data recovery and protection services, the location of data centres, how well maintained and secure the data centres are and also what type of virus protection is offered.

The use of cloud computing in business is growing exponentially and while it offers strong benefits in terms of streamlining operations and cost effectiveness, it does pose some questions when it comes to choosing the right provider for your business. By considering these three points, you can be in a better position to make an informed choice.