What Factors to consider when selecting a Cloud Service Provider?

The Field

The cloud is considered nowadays as the go-to place for businesses to save money and time, improve the workflow, and eliminate the need for in-house IT equipment and employees. However, given the large range of options and the differences in cloud service providers’ (CSPs’) methods and services, and the lack of a common methodology for evaluating CSPs, along with the reality that no two CSPs are alike, choosing the best CSP for you is a challenging task. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are the three giants in the cloud field, but the market is growing and a new participant joins the competition every now and then. So how do you choose between them? What makes one CSP better for you than others? 

Before selecting a CSP!

You must have a precise vision of your needs, objectives, and IT architecture before approaching a cloud provider. Making a checklist with your personal criteria, budget, and expectations can help you make the best decision. Many IT service providers can assist you with analyzing your business needs, objectives, and environment before recommending the best CSP for you.

Selecting a CSP:

Immigrating to the cloud will have a huge impact on your business, internally and externally. So after making your checklist there are some factors to consider while selecting a cloud service provider:

Security

The level of security that the CSP provides should be as high as possible. Because security is a key priority in the cloud, it’s essential to ask specific and precise questions about your specific applications, industry, legal needs, and any other issues you may have. Don’t forget to consider this important aspect of cloud computing. Each CSP has its own security measures. Ask them about them. For example, here is a list of questions you should know the answer to:

What tools do they use to ensure data safety? 

Do they encrypt data? 

Did they face any security breaches?

-Who will have access to your data?

Do they provide a regular security report?

-Do they ensure backups or restores? 

Most CSPs list all their security features, free or paid. For example, AWS and Google Cloud make it easy by detailing their security protocols, premium products, and vendor integrations in the security sections of their main websites.

Cost:

The cost is determined by your usage patterns. It’s not like Google or Amazon Web Services cost $5 or $10. As a result, you must estimate your usage, timeline, and budget. The ideal purchasing choice is “pay-as-you-go,” which means you only pay for what you use, with the flexibility to add on other services if needed. Depending on the CSP, charges range from $1 to $100, with costs levied on a variety of schedules: hourly, monthly, and annually.

The location of the data center:

You must ensure that the servers on which your data is restored are not located in an unsecure basement. You must inquire about the CSP’s safety procedures in the event of natural disasters or physical breaches. The location is also essential since your data will be subject to the hosting country’s data laws, such as HIPPA in the United States and the Data Protection Act in the United Kingdom.

Compliance:

Ensure you choose a cloud architecture platform that can assist you in meeting sector and organizational compliance criteria. Whether you must comply with GDPR, SOC 2, PCI DSS, HIPAA, or any other standard, be sure you know what it will take to establish compliance once your data and applications are hosted on a public cloud. Make sure you know what you’re responsible for and what areas of compliance the CSP will assist you with.

Architecture:

Consider how the architecture will be integrated into your activities in the short and long term when selecting a cloud provider. If your business has already engaged extensively in the Microsoft world, it may make sense to move forward with Azure because Microsoft provides licenses to its clients (and often some free credits). If your company uses Amazon or Google services frequently, it may be advisable to go to those providers for cooperation and streamlining.

Contracts, Commercials & SLAs:

The lack of industry regulations for how cloud contracts are established and specified makes them appear complicated. Many jargon-loving cloud vendors are still utilizing overly convoluted, or worse, intentionally misleading language when it comes to SLAs. Therefore, read the terms carefully and decide if the SLA meets the service level you desire.

Support Level:

Another factor that must be taken seriously is support. Will you still be able to receive support rapidly and effortlessly if you need it? In some circumstances, the only way to receive help is to use a chat service or contact a helpline. You may or may not find this appropriate. In other circumstances, you might well have access to a specific resource, but time and access will almost certainly be limited. Before you choose a cloud service, ask questions about the type and level of support you will receive.

Performance:

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