Have you ever started to scratch the surface of selecting a cloud computing provider and got lost? Just googling cloud computing providers brings up a vast number of companies you can choose from to bring into your office. The one thing that will be the hardest is actually selecting a suitable platform for your needs. Here are some criteria you can consider when looking to switch to cloud computing.
A strategic and tactical approach to cloud migration includes focusing on several core areas and how they integrate with your existing business and existing legacy architecture.
It is important to consider how the cloud architecture will integrate and support your existing workflows presently and in the future. Suppose your current infrastructure and workflows already depend on many Google services. In that case, Google may provide better, easier integration, but if your enterprise has invested in Microsoft Universe, for example, then Microsoft may be the better provider.
When selecting a cloud provider or multiple providers, you should carefully consider where the provider data centers are located. If your organization utilizes highly sensitive applications, you may want at least one data center close to where your users are from a user’s perspective. For resiliency and disaster recovery, you will want a provider with geographically diverse data centers that are not run off of the same electrical grid. There is yet another security consideration. If your company is global, you also need to consider where your provider hosts data because there are specific rules and regulations around data particular to a country.
Some industry sectors are highly regulated and require strict compliance with specific standards and regulations like medical and financial organizations. You must understand what you will need if your applications are being run on a public cloud infrastructure. It is important to be aware of what responsibilities in terms of data security and compliance are the responsibilities of your organization and which responsibilities your cloud provider will fulfill to ensure your applications remain compliant once migrated to the cloud.
Another important criterion in choosing a cloud provider understands what your organization will have to manage. Every service utilizes different orchestration tools and provides various integrations with other services. If there are certain services your organization requires or are vital to your operations, you need to ensure that your provider offers an easy way to integrate with those services. You will also want to take a close look at how much time, effort, and money it will take to manage the different aspects of the cloud infrastructure you select.
If your enterprise has sensitive or critical needs around availability, capacity, response time, and support, you need to understand your cloud provider’s Service level agreements. You will also want to draft a contract that clearly establishes and defines the cloud provider and cloud service customer relationship you are entering into. The contract should be written with clear contractual language and include SLAs for all vital enterprise needs, including data security.