4 Crucial Aspects Of Cloud Selection and Implementation
Cloud computing is a new way of doing business. A lot of companies, both big and small, are considering moving to the cloud to make their business more organized and efficient. This allows them to stop worrying about IT infrastructure and concentrate on other aspects that will help in business expansion in the future. But there are some factors that are absolutely important when you are considering this migration. The move will directly or indirectly affect your security and privacy issues, risk management practices, compliance, auditing and many other such issues. Here are four of the most important aspects you need to take into consideration to ensure that the move takes place smoothly:
- Reliability and Security:
Shifting to the cloud is going to be a big change for the systems, data management and overall functionality of your organization. While the model for how IT services are delivered and consumed may be in for a change, the end objectives will be the same, hence it is very important that the new solutions support all the elements that are vital for the end users. Even small glitches in the cloud implementation could lead to major problems in the functioning. Your cloud may be a test bed for new services and applications, developers are working on or it may be running your payroll. No matter what the purpose of the cloud is, users expect it to function perfectly every minute of the day. Hence, it is important that you choose a cloud service that is completely available, reliable and secure. Ensure that it has the capability to continue to operate and keep the data intact in the virtual datacenter even if a failure occurs in some component. Additionally, if the cloud architecture is dealing with a shared resource pool, security and multi-tenancy need to be integrated into all aspects of the process. Services must be seen to be secure and reliable to gain the trust of the users that their data and applications are secure.
- Selecting the right provider:
Know what your exact cloud computing needs are so that you can dictate the type of services you choose from your specific provider. Aspects such as available data storage, pricing structure and accessibility need to be clearly defined before taking the first steps. For basic storage, software-based cloud offerings such as Dropbox may work best. If you are looking for more than basic data storage, with an IT infrastructure and on-demand access to virtual servers, vendors such as IBM, SmartCloud Enterprise, GoGrid and Amazon Web Services would be best. If you want access to specific business solutions you should be turning to the Saleforce and other SaaS providers of the world. In terms of pricing, do thorough research before making a decision and make sure that you are only paying for what you use. Ideally, the pricing scheme should come with options to add services as needed. Pricing for cloud implementation services varies significantly, from as low as $1 per month to $100 a month.
- Business advantages:
You are taking the big step of cloud implementation but what you want to focus on is how the move will affect your business and help expand it. In this case, you need to listen to what your service provider is promising you. Make sure that your provider is not focused only on technology outcomes. It may deliver excellent technology but may not be relevant to your business. Opt for a provider whose solutions can help you with high customer retention or streamlined product delivery. For this, choosing a service provider with your specific vertical market as a focus could help. To gain maximum benefits from cloud implementation, try to communicate your business objectives clearly to your provider. Thus they can be more involved in the process of business expansion and give their inputs during their time of decision-making.
- Regulatory compliance:
The Cloud move can involve the transmission of data across uncontrolled internet connections that are susceptible to interception and monitoring. Most cloud-based services are secure and use different forms of encryption either via web-based communications (eg. SSL or TLS over HTTPS) or through secure applications. However, the effectiveness of the encryption may depend on a number of factors and the actual algorithms may fall short of the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) encryption requirements. At the same time, cloud services that make use of proprietary transmission software may require validation in order to meet the Government standards. Hence it is very important that the cloud provider you choose has all the provisions to maintain regulatory compliance so that it meets any applicable industry regulations, allowing your business to grow smoothly and flourish.
Cloud computing is a big move. Data centers are now delivering highly reliable and highly scalable services to clients, but it is up to those enterprises making the move to pick the right service provider and the right set of features their business demands. Look at the factors of value to your business and make your choice – and if you have already made the move then help the rest of us out – let us know how you went about making your choice?