In an age of digital transformation, cloud computing has established itself as the only sustainable solution for meeting the ever-growing computing needs of businesses, such as processing power, storage capacity, and network bandwidth.
But with more than 550 cloud computing services on the market as of 2023, choosing the right provider can be daunting. Between the plethora of features to go through and your own needs to evaluate, selecting the criteria that make the most sense for your business is no easy task.
Through this article, we’ll take a look at the factors you should focus on to make the most informed choice possible.
What to consider when choosing your cloud computing service?
Before you jump into pricing and technical features, you should absolutely check whether the cloud computing provider has adequate experience in your industry. Service providers with a great understanding of your industry will be able to provide services tailored to your needs. They are also more likely to understand the challenges of your business and provide adequate solutions to face those.
Customer service is one of the main factors that will make or break a good relationship with a cloud provider. Before even considering subscribing to a cloud computing service, you should always read carefully the reviews about their customer support. Check out the availability of the support team (ideally you want a service available 24/7) but also the average response time and the overall knowledge of the provider. Some cloud computing providers offer additional support services (training, consulting…) to ensure customers get the most out of their service.
Cost and pricing structure
As cost is always a determining factor when making a business decision, it’s important to consider whether the service model suits your business needs. Hence, you should consider the cost of ownership as well as the extra services, resources, and support you might need along the way. You should also carefully evaluate the pricing structure of providers, while pay-as-you-go pricing seems to be the standard, a subscription-based model might be more appropriate to fit your financial goals.
To ensure that your business is as agile as possible, it’s important to pick a cloud computing service that ensures a hassle-free experience when it comes to scaling your websites and applications. This will allow you to grow and expand your business without having to worry about the limitations of the provider’s infrastructure and save money and resources while maintaining high flexibility and adaptability.
Data security and privacy policies
First and foremost, you should check whether the provider has had compliance issues or security breaches in the past. Once this is out of the way, you should focus on finding a cloud computing service that provides security standards (encryption, multi-factor authentication) to protect your data. Finally, you should consider your own security needs as depending on your industry, you might have specific needs that aren’t covered by all providers.
Even though you might not need it at first glance, it’s important to choose a solution that can evolve alongside your business needs. Thus, you should pick a provider capable of incorporating a multi-cloud approach in the event you need to shift from public cloud to private cloud, or from either of these to a hybrid cloud solution.
Before choosing a cloud computing service, you should evaluate some key metrics to ensure that your products and services work as expected. You’ll need high cloud availability to make sure that your customers can access your services at all times without having to compromise on performance and security to ensure the best user experience. In summary, you should look for low downtime, high performance, and strong security.
Tools and features
Whether they’re included in the base version or as add-ons, each cloud computing service offers a different set of tools and features. Compare the different types of services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and the specific features that come with them (computing resources, deployment, security, UX…). You need to make sure that the services offered by the cloud service provider match both your corporate strategy and your budget.
Technology in use
You should make sure the cloud computing service you select gives you access to the latest technology and supports the ones your company is using. While those should align with your strategic objectives, it’s also mandatory to think about ways to incorporate third-party partners in order to mitigate the limited support that most providers are able to provide.
10 questions you should ask yourself to choose the right cloud computing service
To summarize what we’ve seen above, here is a checklist of questions you should be able to answer before making the jump into a new cloud computing service provider.
- What are my business needs?
- What are my security requirements?
- What’s my budget?
- What’s the provider’s history? How long has it been around?
- What’s its long-term vision, and does it align with my company’s goals?
- What’s the provider’s pricing structure?
- What’s the provider’s uptime guarantee?
- What’s the provider customer support like?
- Does the provider allow for easy scalability?
- How reliable and secure is the provider?
Finally, if your business has very specific requirements, you may not be able to find a single provider that fits all your needs. In this instance, you’ll either have to compromise by overlooking certain factors or incorporate several cloud services by adopting a multi-cloud approach.
Once you’ve settled on a provider, you’ll be able to enjoy the many benefits of cloud computing service and leverage technologies and innovation in order to make your business as flexible and adaptable as possible.