There is no common framework to assess Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and since no two CSPs can be the same, it becomes complicated to select the one that’s right for your business.
To help you find the right cloud platform, we will be discussing some basic factors by which you can identify a provider that suits your business, technical and operational requirements.
Right Cloud Platform
You do not have to manage all the data on your own as it can be costly, complex and frustrating. You can share the responsibility with the experts and rely on them to take care of the cloud, while you focus on your data and applications that are in the cloud.
So how do you choose the right cloud platform? Let’s consider and compare the following factors that different CSPs offer to evaluate how they will support your unique business characteristics and objectives.
First, you need to check out what your security goals are and then compare it with the security protocols and measurements that are offered by each provider to safeguard your applications and data.
Make sure that you understand the shared responsibilities of each of the involved parties, you and the provider.
Security is a major concern not just in the cloud but everywhere else these days. So it’s crucial to know how the particular cloud provider will work with your unique use cases, industry, regulatory requirements, and any other concerns you may have.
Choose a cloud platform that helps you comply with your business industry standards. Doesn’t matter if SOC 2, PCI DSS, HIPAA, or any other compliance standard that you are obliged to follow, you need to understand how you are going to comply once your applications and data are uploaded to the cloud infrastructure.
Be aware of your responsibilities and the aspects in which provider can help you to achieve the necessary compliance.
While looking for a cloud provider, make sure that they incorporate well with your existing as well as future workflows.
For instance, if your business heavily relies on Microsoft products, Azure will be the perfect fit for your business as it will ease the integration and consolidation. Vice versa, if your business depends more on Amazon or Google services, it may be best to go with those vendors for the cloud support.
You may also want to consider the cloud storage architectures as many vendors may have the similar architectures but offer multiple types of storage to fit different needs.
You may also want to consider what different cloud platforms will demand from you to manage.
Each service provider supports different tools that integrate with various other services. You need to make sure that the cloud provider you choose to facilitates easy integration of those tools with the services that are vital to your business.
You will also want to consider the time and effort your team will take to manage various aspects of the cloud infrastructure before you finalize the cloud platform.
- Service Levels
Cloud Service Level Agreements (Cloud SLAs) are essential when businesses have stringent needs in regards to availability, response time, capacity and supports.
It is important to maintain a clear contractual and legally enforceable relationship between a cloud service customer and a cloud service provider.
You tend to rely heavily on the cloud provider to do the right thing when it comes to the security of your data on the cloud, but you still need a legal agreement to back you up if in case something goes wrong.
Support is another basic parameter that you need to consider before you choose a cloud provider.
There may be times when you will need help, but will you be able to get it fast and easy? What if the only available mode of support is either chat service or call center, but they are not acceptable/enough to the help you require?
You need to be upfront about the levels and forms of support that will be accessible to you at any point in time.
Cost is the not the most important factor, but it always remains a crucial deciding factor when it comes to choosing a cloud service provider for your business.
It’s helpful to be aware of the display price and the associated costs (whether included or extra). It won’t be easy to compare the different service providers based on the price they charge.
You need to take into the account your usage patterns and then determine which cloud provider is feasible for your business model, budget, and goals.
The seven criteria discussed above may not be enough to finalize on a cloud service provider, but they are sufficient enough to help you build a strong analytical framework that can be used to determine the cloud provider(s) you will trust with your data and applications.
You can discover additional factors by doing a thorough analysis of your business requirements which can help you in making an informed decision.
These factors along with the above mentioned will play a key role in determining the cloud service provider which will deliver the features, services, and resources that will incorporate with your ongoing business, operational, security, and compliance goals in the best possible way.