Moving your business operations to the cloud is beneficial only if you select the right cloud service provider. And as you can imagine, filtering out the best cloud platform for a small business is not easy. From big-name players like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google to smaller cloud services for business, there are several cloud providers to choose from.
To filter out the commercial cloud platforms that suit your business, you should have a clear evaluation process to test the cloud services against your business requirements. Factors like cost, feature list, performance, security standards, presence of vendor lock-ins, etc., will help you narrow down to the best cloud platforms for business.
Let’s break down this list.
10 questions to ask when selecting cloud platforms for your business
1. Which certifications does the cloud provider hold?
You should research recognized industry standards in the cloud space and filter out service providers based on whether or not they adhere to those standards. You can check for standards like ISO 27001, Cyber Essentials Scheme, and CSCC, to name a few.
2. Is the cloud provider suited for long-term business collaboration?
The cloud service provider you choose should be a good fit for the long term. That means when you pick a cloud provider, check for legal challenges if any, planned corporate changes, and its business roadmap before entering into a partnership with them.
You should also prioritize commercial cloud platforms that have a healthy balance sheet indicative of its growth (whenever you can make educated guesses about this, of course). Make sure your cloud provider has a good customer base and competent leadership. Check the company's LinkedIn profile to get an overview of the business.
3. What are the services and tools I will subscribe to?
Cloud services for businesses should have features that help you efficiently achieve your business goals. Apart from the existing services, ask for their service roadmap. It will tell you how your cloud provider plans to add more services in the future so that it is aligned with your long-term needs.
Most importantly, make sure the cloud providers' services are compatible with your organizations' workloads. Ask how much re-coding or customization is required to make the cloud services fit your business operations. The cloud services you choose must show high-speed performance and easy scalability.
4. How much will the cloud service cost?
The next thing you should check is the cost of the cloud services you will be opting for. Typically, cloud platforms for business have an affordable pay-as-you-go pricing.
Compare the price of your cloud service provider against others in the market and decide whether or not it justifies its offerings. If reserving computing capacity for a longer duration suits your business, you should ask for reserved instances as it will get you huge discounts on the standard pricing.