Deciding where you choose a cloud service provider is quite tricky. That’s because there are many factors to consider.
For instance, in which country should you host your cloud services? Which company can offer the most affordable price for the service? Which company has the highest level of customer satisfaction?
Not to mention every Cloud Service Provider (CSP) can offer different offers with various pricing plans. You have to choose carefully, and consider the one that fits your needs the most.
If you haven’t used CSP before, you may find it difficult to differentiate such features because they may seem similar yet you’re unsure if you need which is which. But, if you’re just starting a business, any CSP won’t make a different thing. You can use whatever is offered and go on with your company.
But, as soon as your business expands, you may need to upgrade the CSP to enhance your activity. You also begin to think about which Cloud Service Provider is safe enough to protect your data and how long can they restore something important.
This article will help you find a few considerations when choosing the right Cloud Service Provider.
What Should You Pay Attention to When Choosing a Cloud Service Provider?
Cloud Service Provider (CSP) helps you to deploy your business applications in an efficient manner by providing you with a customizable cloud-based infrastructure. They take care of all the technicalities involved with the deployment and maintenance of your business applications.
This means that you would be able to focus on core activities like product development and promotion without having to bother about the technicalities involved with infrastructure deployment.
So, here are some factors or considerations you should pay attention to when choosing Cloud Service Provider.
1. The Cost Factor
The cost factor is one of the most important factors which you should consider when choosing a Cloud Service Provider. Pricing plays an important role in deciding which cloud service provider you should choose for your business requirements.
You can choose from many CSPs, but pricing plans or cost estimations should be the deciding factor when choosing one. You should also compare their services as well as their pricing plans before making any decision.
The cost factor would depend upon various factors like:
- The type of vendor (such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, etc.) that you choose for your application deployment
- The type of infrastructure deployment model (such as private cloud, public cloud, etc.) that you choose for your application deployment.
For example, if you choose a provider that offers a private cloud infrastructure, then it would cost less than if you had chosen a public cloud provider.
That’s why if you’re still starting out, you may choose this type of provider as you’ll need the cost for other things, like researching and developing or promoting with animated commercials of your product.
2. The Scalability Factor
The scalability factor means how quickly can your business be scaled up or down based on its requirement?
Scalability is another important aspect that must be considered when selecting a CSP for your business needs because it will determine how fast and how much your business will grow in the future.
It is the ability of a system to add new resources or increase capacity without affecting the performance of the existing services.
Make sure to choose a CSP that offers high scalability because it will help you to manage your business better and also save you from spending more money on adding extra resources manually whenever your business needs it.
It would also depend upon various factors such as:
- The number of users that access at any point in time from around the world
- The number of transactions performed by your employees at any point in time
- How much data is stored on servers at any point in time
- The number and kind of applications being used by employees for their daily work
For example, a company that is growing at a rapid pace will require a scalable IT infrastructure to support its growth. If the company is growing at a slow pace, then it would require a less scalable infrastructure.
3. The Security Factor
Data security has become one of the most important factors when choosing a cloud service provider for your business requirements. You should get all the answers to your questions regarding data security before making any decision about choosing a Cloud Service Provider for your business requirements.
You should always choose a CSP with a strong data security solution as it’s very important for storing sensitive information online which can be accessed by employees, partners, customers, etc. It would be better if you choose two-factor authentication and encryption to secure data on public clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The security factor means how safe and secure your data is. It would also depend upon various factors such as:
- The type of encryption used to protect the data stored on servers
- The type of encryption used to protect the data being transmitted over the network
- The type of authentication mechanism used to log in users
- The number and kind of employees who have access to your servers and network
For example, a company that has sensitive data that needs protecting may choose an infrastructure that has high levels of security.
Make sure to choose a CSP that offers security and privacy controls in their services because it will help you protect your data from any kind of theft or damage as well as control the access to your cloud resource.
4. The Service Level Agreement (SLA) Factor
The Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an agreement that is made between a provider and a client which specifies the level of service that the provider should provide to its clients, especially in terms of availability, reliability, performance, and security aspects of cloud services that they will provide you with.
SLAs are also known as ‘Service Commitment’ or ‘Service Guarantee’ or ‘Service Level Contract’. This gives you an idea about the uptime and availability of your application.
Usually, SLAs are based on percentages like a 99% uptime guarantee or 5-minute average response time guarantee, etc. If you have chosen a CSP for your business, then you should definitely know their SLA for 24x7x365 support.
So, make sure to go through the SLA carefully before signing up with any chosen CSPs so as to make sure that this aspect won’t give you any trouble later on after signing up with them for your cloud needs.
5. The Backup & Restore Services/Disaster Recovery Services Factor
Backup and restore services are really important for any business because it helps them protect their data from any kind of loss or damage.
You also need to pay attention to SLA-backed recovery processes. SLA-backed recovery processes are very important as well because they help you recover from any kind of disaster without losing any data and also without losing time as well. Be careful while choosing a CSP for your cloud needs so as not to choose one that doesn’t offer this feature in their services plan.
Disaster recovery services can be of great help in case you have to manage a disaster. You can make use of this service to recover from any kind of disaster without any loss of data or time.
For example, if a disaster strikes your company’s data center, you can use Disaster Recovery Services to recover from the damage and resume normal operations.
The disaster recovery services can be taken as a part of cloud backup services or as a stand-alone service.
If you are looking for both backup and disaster recovery services in one package, then you should choose a CSP that offers this kind of service because it will save your time and money.
You can also get this service from a third-party vendor, but it is important that you know all things you need to consider before choosing a third-party vendor so that you don’t end up with any kind of problem in the future.
Integration with Third-Party Applications/Tools/Platforms is Essential
Make sure to choose a CSP that offers integration with third-party applications, tools, and platforms so that you can use this feature to integrate your current systems with the cloud resource provided by the CSP for better management and also for better performance as well.
For example, if your business still uses fax services, make sure the CSP supports it.
Fax services are really important for the businesses that are still using fax machines because they don’t want to change their old fax machine with a new one just because they want to use the cloud services offered by their CSP.
So, make sure that you choose a CSP that offers this service so that you can continue using your existing fax machine without having to change it with a new one.
In general, there are many other factors that can be considered while deciding upon choosing an IT infrastructure for deploying your application.
However, you can take some considerations when selecting Cloud Service Provider because it affects how your business will perform and how your customers will react after using it.
One of the most important things to consider is the price.
Although it is a commonly known fact that cloud services are cheaper than traditional IT infrastructure, you should still be careful when choosing a CSP because there are some providers who can offer you such service at lower cost but with lower performance as well.
Therefore, you should thoroughly research the CSP before you make your decision to choose one and make sure that they are reputable, reliable, and trustworthy so that they won’t take advantage of your business by providing you with low-quality services or products.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video production company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).