There has been a sudden surge in the cloud computing market due to the onslaught of coronavirus pandemic. With most of us forced to work from home, it is imperative to use a technology that can connect everyone from their homes. And, there is no better technology than cloud computing.
Cloud computing allows individuals to access company data from their homes without any problem. What you need is an internet connection to access the information/ data. If you want to keep the work front ticking during these troubled times, you need to take the help of cloud technology.
However, it is not as if cloud computing has seen growth only this year; it has been a growing vertical for quite some time now. Businesses in many verticals had already moved their operations to the cloud even before the crisis hit us hard. The reason why businesses are shifting their operations to the cloud is quite simple.
Cloud computing offers several benefits.
But when you plan to move your business operations to the cloud, you need to select the cloud hosting provider with a lot of caution. No two cloud hosting providers are the same.
Before getting into what you should look for in a cloud hosting provider, let us try to understand what is cloud computing, and the benefits it has to offer.
What is cloud computing?
According to Wikipedia, “cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The term is generally used to describe data centres available to many users over the Internet. Large clouds, predominant today, often have functions distributed over multiple locations from central servers.”
Broadly, cloud computing services are divided into three categories:
- Infrastructure-as-a-service or IaaS
- Platform-as-a-service or PaaS
- Software-as-a-service or SaaS
Benefits of cloud computing
Cloud computing offers several benefits to businesses. According to Gartner, “the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.3 percent in 2019 to total $206.2 billion, up from $175.8 billion in 2018.”
- Here are some benefits of cloud computing:
- It is cost-efficient, and reduces your IT costs.
- The cloud services are scalable.
- It offers reliable security.
- It offers collaboration efficiency.
- It offers flexibility.
- You get automatic updates.
Things to look for in a cloud hosting service provider
But if you want to avail the benefits of cloud computing, you need to make sure that you get a reliable cloud hosting service provider for your business. When selecting a cloud service provider for your business, ensure that you consider the following points:
You should have well-defined business objectives – If you want to build a house, you need to have a blueprint in place. Similarly, before you move your business operations to the cloud, you need to make sure that your business objectives are clear and well-defined. It is not just important for you to have well-defined business objectives, but it is also vital that the cloud service provider you select understands those goals properly so that it gets translated to the core.
Find out where does the cloud service provider host their datacentres – It is important for you to know where does your service provider host their datacentres? Your information may be at risk if your cloud service provider uses low-cost, foreign sites for some of their datacentres. And, if these datacentres are located in countries that may become unstable, then the problem can aggravate further.
Look for security certifications – The cloud service provider can elect to participate in a cloud certification process where they get certified by a third-party for their security infrastructure. For example, ISO 27001 and the government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme are organisations that certify cloud service providers. Alternatively, you can ask for the internal audit report of the cloud service provider and view their track record of how they handle various issues.
You also need to check references – It is important for those shifting their operations to the cloud to check references provided by the service provider. Make sure you speak to two or three existing customers and try to clear all your doubts. Request your service provider to provide you references of customers who belong to your vertical so that you know what to expect in the future. The aim is to find out how their customer support model works.
Data security is important – You, of course, don’t want your company information and customer’s details to be mishandled by the cloud service provider. You cannot compromise on the security front. Hence, it is important that you check out the cloud service provider’s privacy, security, and data-handling policies. You need to know who will have access to your data. You also need to find out the kind of security precautions they take for their customers to ensure confidentiality. And, don’t forget to check out their backup and recovery plans. Also, find out where your data is being stored, by whom, and how.
Plan your exit earlier – It is important for you to discuss your exit strategy before you sign the deal with your cloud service provider. Negotiate terms favorable to you in case you plan to exit your service provider. You need to know about the penalties and what will happen to your data in case of an exit. It is vital for you to know how you will retrieve your data in case you plan to exit. Hence, you need to negotiate your exit strategy before you sign the deal with your cloud service provider.
Also, find out about their disaster recovery plan – It is important for you to know what happens if your cloud service provider vanishes in thin air. After all, you cannot shut your shop for an indefinite period. It is, therefore, vital for you to check out their disaster recovery plan. You need to know how this critical service is covered. You can also buy additional risk insurance to cover the potential losses.
Cost is important, but should never be a limiting factor – Price is vital for businesses both big and small, but it should never be the only criterion for selecting a cloud service provider. Vendors who charge exorbitantly should, of course, be eliminated in the first round. You should select a cloud service provider that offers competitive pricing. But other than pricing, you also need to consider various other factors like disaster recovery, data security, exit plan, data security, etc.
If you are looking for a reliable and trustworthy cloud service provider, you should get in touch with vStacks Software Solutions now. We have fast cloud servers and offer the bandwidth that you need. We backup your data, provide regular updates, and ensure that your data remains safe and secure.
We have strong datacentres and offer completely adaptive disaster recovery. We also offer competitive pricing.