How to select the right cloud service provider
With the world embarking on the path of virtualization, transitioning to the cloud is the need of the hour. As more and more IT systems are getting externalized, it is crucial to analyze and compare the cloud services elaborately for long-term business success.
However, the comparison is not easy, considering the cut-throat competition in today’s vast cloud service market. The industry has a myriad of providers offering a vast host of services, from giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Google to smaller niche players delivering bespoke cloud services. And, this makes the selection of the right cloud provider increasingly challenging. The secret to making a safe cloud investment is establishing a defined procurement and selection process weighted towards the unique set of business needs.
Want to select the right cloud service provider? Here are six criteria that businesses should consider before investing in any cloud services
1. Security Certifications and Standards:
It’s simple, data demands security, so cloud service providers need to confirm their security standards to be top-notch. Cloud service providers must comply with significant industry certifications, including ISO 27001 or other Cyber Essentials Schemes initiated by the Government. The best data governance mechanism, followed by a structured service support process, remains the kingpin of cloud service providers’ selection process.
There are multiple certifications and standards available in the market that assure streamlining the cloud providers’ data management processes. Businesses need to map their industry-specific security requirements and choose the necessary certificates that cannot be missed. It is essential to ensure that the providers plan their resources and support services elaborately, ensuring continuous adherence to the required certifications and standards.
Before investing in any cloud service provider, it is crucial to check their performance for the past year and analyze their customer feedback across industries. The wise decision is to measure the reliability of the cloud provider’s services based on their customer experience and satisfaction parameters. Also, firms must consider how the company has handled both planned and unplanned system downtime. This is an extremely vital point as the seamless data recovery processes drive any cloud service provider’s success, especially when any disaster strikes.
The data preservation expectations, including the criticality of data, transparency of the data sources, data scheduling, backup, restoration, integrity checks, etc. – must be important selection criteria too!
Transparency regarding the set expectations and the delivery guidelines is the key to suitable cloud investments. Also, businesses can consider purchasing additional risk insurance to encompass all costs associated with overall data recovery not covered by the provider’s broader umbrella of terms and conditions.
4. Technology Advancements:
Selecting a cloud provider that promptly adapts to the constantly evolving technological advancements and trends are preferred as they have advanced technical competencies and scalable operational capabilities. It is of utmost critical to verify whether the provider’s cloud services align appropriately with the dynamicity of the business needs.
Each of the services leverages and supports different orchestration tools, promising to integrate various associated services. The services vital to the organization must be well-defined to assure that the chosen cloud provider can easily integrate. It is also essential to determine how much effort and time it will take for the team to manage various aspects of the broader cloud infrastructure before making a final decision.
The process of cloud migration is neither cheap nor straightforward, so choosing the right plan is an unavoidable decision. Pre-defining the budget for setting up the cloud infrastructure and sticking to the pre-defined comparison criteria is recommended. Once the business needs are intricately mapped out, all cloud service providers need to be compared based on the varied pricing plans and licenses. Making an accurate price comparison amongst the providers is difficult due to the varying pricing models and discount structures. But, seeking clarity in pricing plans is important. Most reputable cloud providers usually offer online price calculators and free introductory tiers that allow businesses to ‘try before they buy.’ And this is undoubtedly the best way to start.
Conclusion – Before You Choose a Cloud Service Provider
The best cloud service provider is the one who is agile enough to customize as per the most peculiar business needs. Having a plan is vital, but it is equally important for the plan to be stuffed up with well-defined implementation milestones and crystal clear business objectives. Remember, the key to a perfect cloud transition model is to begin somewhere, experiment fearlessly, fail quickly, and learn as the business scales.
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