DMoving to the cloud has become one of the most critical things a business can do to have access to more features and functionality, save costs, and build robust tech ecosystems that are secure and scalable.
Cloud providers offer a host of cloud services that can enable businesses to leverage data in myriad ways to generate business insight. Whether it is a simple matter of data storage or more complex operations like BI analysis and machine learning workloads, moving to the cloud can be one of the best moves you can make based on your use case.
However, this also involves choosing the right cloud provider. Different cloud providers all have their own collection of cloud solutions and services. Depending on your use case and the unique nature of the workloads you have in mind, it is crucial that you choose the right cloud provider to actually have access to all the benefits the cloud can provide.
Here, we take a closer look at what you need to look for in a cloud provider based on your use case and how you can make an informed choice that allows you to fully leverage the cloud for your needs.
What Should I Look For In A Cloud Provider?
While choosing a cloud provider, there are a few important criteria you need to look at. Juxtaposing these criteria with your use case can help you make an informed choice and end up with a provider that ticks all the right boxes. Here are some helpful points to consider:
- Compliance – It is crucial that you adhere to all standards of compliance that apply to your organization and industry. Choosing the right cloud platform can help you meet these compliance requirements. With your data living on the public cloud, you need to ensure that you take note of all compliance requirements and check if your cloud provider will help you maintain these. Important compliance standards like GDPR, HIPAA, and SOC 2 must be considered before coming to a decision.
- Security – First, take a look at the security goals you want to achieve and then at the security features offered by different cloud providers. You need to form a clear understanding of the specific areas of security your cloud provider will be responsible for. Consider if you would need to make use of extra third-party technologies to bolster security if you go with a certain provider and factor in the costs associated.
- Costs – One of the most fundamental components in moving over to a cloud provider is cost savings. Naturally, this becomes one of the most basic points to consider while choosing a cloud provider. First, take a look at the pricing model on offer and then try to calculate your costs, concentrating not only on the sticker price but also all associated costs. This might include hiring trained staff to manage your instances. While most cloud providers have a similar pricing structure that uses a pay-as-you-go model, there might be cost savings and volume discounts at play that you need to understand to make a decision that is the most financially viable.
By looking at a combination of these factors, you can come to a viable decision regarding the right cloud provider for your needs.
How Do You Decide If The Cloud Is Right For Your Requirements?
The most important thing to always keep in view are the requirements dictated by your business, workloads, and use cases. Different cloud providers offer different levels and types of service and you need to choose a provider that can completely cover your use cases, ideally also offering essential features and functionalities that can help you enhance speed, simplicity, efficiency, and flexibility in your workloads.
To this end, take a look into the different kinds of cloud service providers and their services, which can be broken down into three basic types:
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – The simplest mode of adopting the cloud is using a SaaS provider to replace an on-premise software solution that you use for your workloads. This is software delivered on the cloud so that the functionality and data of the software can be universally accessed over the web. You do not require to purchase and maintain the hardware to run this software as all the code, servers, and databases needed to handle the software load are maintained by the provider. Payment is usually on a subscription model.
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – IaaS is a cloud computing service where the provider uses a pay-as-you-go model to offer a combination of storage, compute, and networking resources. This is meant to negate the need to purchase servers and storage on-premise and gives you myriad ways to save money on hardware costs and maintenance costs. You can quickly provision new applications and it is easy to scale up by moving to a different paid service tier.
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – The most involved method of moving to the cloud, PaaS constitutes a complete deployment and development environment in the cloud. With a pay-as-you-go payment plan, you have the freedom to develop and deploy simple, basic applications to complex, enterprise-wide applications. Like IaaS, PaaS encompasses storage, compute, and network but also includes other functionalities such as middleware, DBMS, development tools, BI services, and more.