The term cloud computing has been thrown around so much that it has almost lost its meaning. If you’re thinking about building your own private cloud, or making the leap to the public cloud, you may be confused about which one to choose and why it matters. Here are 5 things to know about cloud computing that will help you determine if it’s right for your business, and how to make the transition when it’s time to move from one cloud service provider to another.
1) Where Is The Cloud?
The term cloud is a bit nebulous, making it easier for people to argue over what, exactly, constitutes the cloud. Cloud computing can take many forms and come from many sources; most often, however, when we think of the cloud we imagine a privately owned data center that handles heavy duty processing of data without sending it through a user’s personal device or network. This lets your business continue its operation in case one of your employees loses their computer or accidentally deletes an important file (the latter being another reason businesses choose to put sensitive information in cloud-based storage). There are a wide variety of reasons why you might want to consider using cloud computing technology at your place of business.
2) Get An Expert To Help You Decide
Cloud-computing solutions can range from software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to platform as a service (PaaS), hosted desktop services, enterprise application integration, utility computing and more. It’s highly important you ask your potential provider whether they offer hybrid or private cloud solutions and what their strengths are. For example, if your company already has an in-house data center, you may not want to go with a public IaaS solution.
3) What Type Of Hardware Do I Need?
Depending on your business, you might need a few servers. Don’t worry, though you won’t need nearly as many as you would if you were running a data center. You may need to purchase some equipment that isn’t standard in most businesses (e.g., classic load balancers), but it isn’t very expensive. Finally, choose a good software vendor and stick with them; they should provide discounts for purchasing equipment or subscriptions in bulk.
4) Should I Just Use Third Party Services?
The first question you need to ask yourself is whether your company needs custom made or pre-existing software. If your company has complex business requirements and highly specific functionality that other systems can’t handle, then a custom software solution might be better. However, if it is something that others have already developed, then there’s probably no reason for you not to take advantage of off the shelf software solutions.
5) Choosing The Right Cloud Service Provider
Not all cloud providers are created equal. While price is definitely a factor, you should be aware of other factors that can impact your business’s success with a cloud provider.
Here are five of them:
1) Security: Data security should be a top priority for any business. Make sure you choose a service provider that has proper safeguards in place and regularly audits their practices.
2) Customer Service & Support: You need support when something goes wrong. Make sure your provider can back up its claims with an exemplary customer service team.
3) Control of your data: If you’re taking advantage of cloud technology, it means giving someone else access to some or all of your company’s data so do some research on what happens if (or when) there’s a security breach.
4) Price & Support Plans: The initial cost is just one element of an overall cloud service price tag. Make sure you factor in additional costs such as installation and training fees and any required hardware upgrades to ensure that your initial cost estimates are still accurate.
5) Long-Term Savings: Cloud providers can be less expensive than hiring in-house IT staff, but you need to make sure that those savings are in line with your business’s long-term goals. It’s also important to consider how quickly your service can grow and whether it has room for scalability in terms of both storage and bandwidth.