The fact that no two cloud service providers are the same, and there is no standard framework by which to assess CSPs, makes it incredibly difficult to choose the right cloud solution for your business. So to help you decide, we’ve put together some things you should consider before you decide.
The four cloud types
There are four main types of cloud solutions, and which one is best will depend on the needs of your business.
These are cloud solutions that use a shared infrastructure and serve multiple customers, sometimes from every corner of the world. The three major public cloud providers you might already know about are Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). There are a vast number of smaller or niche providers as well.
Some of these options are completely free, while others have a pay-per-use option. An important thing to consider is that these are the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks for various reasons.
These are cloud solutions that use a proprietary infrastructure and usually serve just one customer. In some unique cases, this infrastructure may be hosted offsite by a third party. Private clouds are the best options for sensitive data storage and work well for evolving business models with unpredictable needs.
Remember that with a private cloud, the cost and responsibility of management, maintenance, and virtualization for everything from infrastructure to the cloud software and tools you use are all on your shoulders.
Hybrid clouds offer the affordability, scalability, and minimal maintenance of public clouds with the high security of private clouds. They usually consist of a blend of public and private clouds, which allows a company to shift their workloads between them as necessary.
These have the most amount of flexibility, are a far more agile solution, and are easier to access. But they also require complex management – especially if your infrastructure involves multiple providers.
This cloud solution is very much like a hybrid cloud, except that a company will choose several different cloud providers and use each of their platforms and environments for a variety of purposes within a coherent system.
This is a great option if you can’t find a single cloud solution that provides all the features you need in a single package. With careful planning and management, a multi-cloud solution can help keep your costs down as well.
Your business needs
Now that you know the types of cloud solutions available, it’s time to look at your specific business needs. The factors you need to consider are:
- What type of data you’re storing – Whether you need to store sensitive or non-sensitive information will have the biggest impact on your decision.
- How many devices you’re connecting to your platform – For this, you’ll need to look at the current size of your business, your projected growth, and the scalability of the service. A solution that is perfect for right now might not be in a few years when your business has tripled in size.
- Your budget – With any cloud solution, the cost is a massive factor. Some are completely free to use, some charge on a per-user basis, some have better security, and some have additional benefits. You need to find a solution that satisfies every need and is the most affordable.
You might be hesitant about implementing cloud solutions in your business, but remember that 90 percent of companies are already making use of them. And it makes perfect sense because cloud computing has made it possible for businesses of every size to be more efficient and more flexible. It can also give them a strategic edge, thanks to the competitiveness of providers and the increased collaboration between team members.
Learn more about cloud solutions
Whether you’re already operating in the cloud or would like to know more about transitioning, we are happy to help you. So feel free to contact us as soon as you’re ready!