How to Choose the Right Cloud Service Provider for Your Business
Cloud computing is a massive hit among businesses. According to a recent State of the Cloud Report by Flexera, over 96 percent of companies use the cloud in one way or another. And as companies learn more about this technology, they tend to adopt more complex and hybrid cloud processes.
Because of the massive adoption among businesses of different sizes, cloud computing is projected to grow from a value of $371.4 billion in 2020 to over $832.1 billion by 2025.
The Advantages of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing involves using applications, platforms and storage from an external provider’s servers. You access these completely through the internet instead of your own hard drive. Several types have been developed to suit different business models.
This technology is becoming more and more popular among enterprise users because of the following benefits:
- Space and Cost Savings — Cloud computing involves renting out processing power and storage from off-site servers. This means that you and your workforce only need computers and an internet connection. There’s no need to purchase, maintain and allocate office space for your own servers. Plus, providers often use a pay-as-you-go system, which lets you pay only for the storage and processing power you use.
- Scalability — Because of the pay-as-you-go system that most providers have, you can truly customize your cloud solutions according to your needs. You can start out with a basic plan and use more resources as your business grows. Implementing upgrades is also a breeze. Because everything is web-based, you don’t have to manually install updates to each of your workers’ computers to implement them. Your provider does all the work for you on their own servers. You’ll see upgrades implemented within just a few minutes.
- Versatility — You’ll have cloud applications for almost every business process. Examples include your accounting and finance, customer relationship management, business intelligence and more. And because cloud apps are web-based, you can access them on any device that has a web browser. This is specifically useful for businesses that offer remote work policies.
How to Choose a Cloud Provider
Now that you know the many benefits of cloud computing, it’s time for you to find a provider and get started. However, not every company provides what your business needs.
So what should you look for when choosing a cloud service provider?
Ease of Implementation — Look for a provider that makes it easy for you to transition your business processes to cloud platforms and applications. They should have applications that make deploying, managing, and updating your cloud apps simple as well.
A Complete View — Your cloud provider should also have monitoring systems that give you a complete and transparent view of all your cloud applications and platforms. You should be able to see who uses those services, what they do with it, and possible changes made to their settings.
Robust Security — Your crucial business and customer data will be processed and stored in your providers’ servers. Ask if they have the following security measures in place:
- Access control policies. This involves controlling which employees or customers have access to which files. Access control helps guard high-level information that should only be seen by your executives.
- A Healthy Business — If you’re going to use someone else’s resources for your business processes, you need to be sure that you can trust them. Use enterprise risk assessment tools to gauge your cloud provider’s knowledge of your business niche, their company’s financial health and stability, and compliance with industry and government regulators.
- Authentication features. Every process that involves critical information should require login authentication. Your provider should offer password encryption for these. If possible, look for a cloud provider that offers two-factor authentication as well. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection to your logins by requiring not just a username and password, but also another form of authentication, like a one-time-pin or a fingerprint.
- Backup and retention. Your provider should also have servers in various locations, so they’re able to store multiple copies of your data. This way, you have consistent access to your data, even if one of the servers malfunctions.
Cloud computing provides easy, fast and accessible tools for businesses to run their essential processes on. It also offers consistently-available and scalable data storage solutions. Despite the many advantages of this technology, however, you should be careful when choosing your cloud services provider.
Use these recommendations as a guide when reviewing your prospects. With a provider that offers easy implementation, comprehensive monitoring and effective security practices, you’ll have a smooth and worry-free cloud computing experience.