IN TODAY'S NEW NORMAL, MANY BUSINESSES HAVE SHIFTED TO REMOTE WORK AND DIGITAL CUSTOMER INTERACTIONS. BUT WITH SO MUCH LEGACY SOFTWARE STILL OUT THERE IN THE WORLD OF BUSINESS, SOME COMPANIES ARE EITHER STILL PLANNING, OR PART WAY THROUGH TRANSITIONING THEIR SYSTEMS TO THE CLOUD.
A recent survey by Omdia and Telstra Purple, found that:
Only 41% of firms across Australia are prepared for migration
There are a lot of moving parts to make this transition, and some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind along the journey. The first and perhaps most obvious question, is:
“How do I choose the right cloud provider?”
Before we get carried away discussing specific cloud providers and what attributes you should look out for before engaging with them, let’s define what is meant by the term “the cloud.” Put simply, the cloud is a collection of services running on infrastructure in data centers distributed around the world.
Choosing the Right Cloud Provider
Now, onto business. Choosing the right cloud provider is not usually a simple process, and there are a variety of things to consider. Each provider does things their own way, and as such, provide their own unique toolsets, APIs, etc. When you select a cloud partner, you will be committing to their system design, so you need to feel comfortable with this; both in terms of the toolset they are providing, and the way they support their customers. There are many cloud service providers out there, but only a handful hold significant market share.
Firstly, there is Amazon Web Services (or AWS), the world’s largest cloud provider with 48% of the market. Unsurprisingly, AWS has data centers all over the world, so one of their strengths is ‘location, location, location.” Some other strengths include their multi-regional tenancy offerings and all that comes with that, such as the simplicity of backups. AWS were one of the first to facilitate continuous deployment into production; a casing point being eBay, who deploy up to 10 times a day. In terms of pricing, AWS offer a free tier (who doesn’t love a freebie?!) as well as some pretty flexible pricing models once you are up and running.
The second biggest player in the market with about 20% market share is, drumroll please, Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure is a great option if you are a Microsoft customer, as their cloud services integrate beautifully with their other products, such as M365, Dynamics, SharePoint, etc. They also make a big deal about privacy and security, which can only be a good thing as 23% of businesses in Australia rate cloud security as their top concern (Omdia and Telstra Purple.) Whilst Azure is strong in both PaaS and SaaS, when using Windows servers, they probably have an advantage in IaaS.
The next 3 cloud service providers (which make up about 15% of the total market share), are Alibaba, great if you operate on the other side of the Great Chinese firewall; Google Cloud Platform (GPC), known for its research pedigree and probably providing the best built-in AI on the market; and then there is IBM, which is most famous for Watson, the longest-standing, fully commercialised AI tool in the market.
Other Factors to Consider
So, what other factors should be considered when deciding on a cloud service provider? A couple of things to think about, is how portable you want the system to be, and what capabilities you want baked into the services, thus do you choose PaaS, SaaS or IaaS. Also, take a close look at the feature set of each of the offerings, and specifically how they are used. This way, you can find the one that offers tools that fit in with your architectural plan.
You also need to think about red tapes and complying with your region’s regulations. You wouldn’t want to spend time, money and effort transitioning to the cloud, to find yourself in muddy waters and not totally compliant. That could open a whole can of worms!
And of course, we can’t forget mentioning price. Price always plays a role when making important business decisions. Each cloud provider users their own means to calculate their prices, so there is a bit of an artform involved to get them in a state to easily compare.
Transitioning to the cloud might not be the quickest of processes and does require some serious thinking and investment before embarking on the journey. However, the benefits of cloud migration make it totally worth it. Security, scalability and integration are all improved once migrated, and it also increases customer experience and satisfaction – 56% of CXOs measure cloud migration ROI by improvements in customer experience (Omdia and Telstra Purple.)
If you require further information regarding transitioning to the cloud, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our technical experts.
Original article written by Kareem Tawansi – https://psychtech.ai/choosing-the-right-cloud-provider/