Businesses are increasingly relying on cloud services to support their business infrastructure (databases, performance, storage, networking), software, or services to support performance, flexibility, innovation, scalability, and provide cost savings at the same time. In order to support system reliability and remote work and also meet the demand in the market for personalized customer experience, around 90% of organizations have noted a massive surge in cloud usage amid the accelerated digital transformation due to Covid-19.
The whole process of selecting a managed cloud services provider for your organization can be very complicated because of the absence of a common framework for assessing those CSPs with the fact that no two CSPs are the same. To help you get through with it, we’ll be discussing several factors that are needed to be taken into consideration to identify a CSP that can best match your technical, business, and operational needs.
Factors to Take into Consideration while choosing a CSP
1. Cloud Security: You should know exactly what your security goals are, what security measures each provider offers, and what strategies they utilize to secure your apps and data. Also, you must ensure that you understand the exact areas in which each party is responsible. Consider what security measures are included free of charge with each vendor you’re considering, what additional premium services are available from the providers, and where you might need to augment with third-party technologies. Since security is a key priority in the cloud (and everywhere else these days), it’s vital to ask specific and extensive questions about your specific applications, industry, legal needs, and any other issues you may have.
2. Cloud Compliance: Next, make sure you select a cloud architecture platform that can assist you in meeting industry and organizational compliance criteria. Whether you will comply with GDPR, SOC 2, PCI DSS, HIPAA, or any other standard, be sure you know what it will take to attain compliance once your applications and data are hosted on a public cloud. Make sure you know what you’re responsible for and what areas of compliance the supplier will assist you with.
3. Architecture: Consider how the architecture will be integrated into your workflows today and in the future when selecting a cloud provider. You should also think about cloud storage designs while making your decision. The three major providers have identical designs and offer many types of storage to meet different needs when it comes to storage, but they all have different forms of archive storage. Each service provides options for regularly storing and accessing data vs. infrequently retrieving data (hot vs. cool storage). Cool storage is typically less expensive, but it comes with many limitations.
4. Manageability: As an organization, you should spend some time understanding what various cloud platforms will require of you in terms of management. Each service integrates with a variety of other services and supports multiple orchestration tools. If your company relies on certain services, make sure the cloud provider you choose has an easy way to integrate them (or that your organization is comfortable porting over to a similar service that is supported). Before you make a final decision, you should figure out how much time and effort it will take for your team to handle various components of the cloud infrastructure.
5. Support: Another aspect that must be properly considered, is supported. Will you be able to receive help quickly and easily if you need it? In some circumstances, chat service or call service will be your only source of assistance. You may or may not find this acceptable. In other circumstances, you may have access to a specific resource, but time and access would most likely be limited. Before you choose a cloud service, ask questions about the level and type of support you will receive as an organization in times of crisis.
6. Costs: While cost should never be the sole or most essential consideration, there’s no denying that it will influence your choice of the cloud service provider(s). It’s worthwhile to consider both the sticker price and the accompanying charges (including personnel you may need to hire to manage your instances).
7. Service Levels: When businesses have stringent requirements for availability, reaction time, capacity, and support (which, let’s face it, practically all do these days), this consideration is important. When picking a provider, Cloud Service Level Agreements (Cloud SLAs) are an important factor to consider. It’s critical for a cloud service user and a cloud service provider to create a clear contractual relationship (read: legally enforceable). Legal requirements for the security of data hosted in the cloud service should also be considered, especially in light of GDPR rules. You must have faith in your cloud provider to do the right thing, as well as a legal agreement that will protect you if something goes wrong.
While the seven factors listed above will assist you in developing a sound analytical framework to use when deciding which managed cloud services provider to entrust your data and apps to, you can add granularity by doing a thorough examination of your organization’s requirements to uncover extra aspects that will help in your decision-making.
About Artha Solutions:
Artha Solutions is a premier business and technology consulting firm providing insights and expertise in both business strategy and technical implementations. Artha brings forward thinking and innovation to a new level with years of technical and industry expertise and complete transparency. Artha has a proven track record working with SMB (small to medium businesses) to Fortune 500 enterprises turning their business and technology challenges into business value.