Choosing the Right Cloud Solutions for your Business Needs in 2024
A well-oiled migration to the cloud can revolutionise your business’ operations, efficiency, revenue streams and even culture.
It makes sense, therefore, that far before migration, there is a crucial planning stage needed if you wish to reap all the potential benefits of digital transformation.
Once businesses have identified what they want to achieve through deployment of cloud technologies, one key part of this planning stage involves businesses considering the numerous cloud solutions available to them. This is because there are three main categories: private cloud (some of which can be on-premises), public cloud and hybrid cloud. Both public and private have a variety of positives and negatives depending on the specific business need.
Most businesses benefit from investing in hybrid cloud which means using a mix of the solutions to optimise budget, resource, and requirement. By taking a hybrid approach, they can be truly agile and scalable as they seamlessly move workloads from one solution to the other as needs change or workload increase or decreases.
What are the options when it comes to cloud services?
Public cloud is owned by a third party like Amazon or Microsoft. In this instance, all customers are using the same hardware and software owned by the provider. There is a myth that public cloud isn’t well-protected, and this is not the case. It is commonly used for things like web-based emails, workplace applications and DevOps work. It offers several benefits from being lower cost than private cloud, completely scalable so that you can use what you need, robust and reliable and no hassle as the provider manages all aspects.
Private cloud can be hosted on-prem or by a third-party, but the difference is that all hardware and software are dedicated to one business. It is often used by public sector or banking because it offers more privacy. Because it is only being used by one business it is also more customizable and offers zero latency. It is, however, more expensive than public cloud so not always suitable or necessary for small businesses.
In the same way that a hybrid cloud makes a lot of sense, outsourcing for cloud expertise is also a cost-effective method for gaining most Return on Investment
Hybrid cloud combines private or on-prem infrastructure with public cloud to reap the benefits of each. This means using private cloud for business-critical operations but public cloud for business tasks which do not need to be customisable and will not be impacted by latency issues.
A hybrid cloud platform offers greater flexibility and scalability and means that organisations don’t pay for more than they need or pay for private cloud in situations where public cloud is ample. Businesses can scale up and down as demand changes by using the public cloud but can meet regulatory needs also using private. It means that businesses can scale without the risk of huge financial investment because public cloud is almost pay as you go. It also means that they can innovate quickly and test new initiatives with no huge capital expenditure.
This means scalability and flexibility, cost effectiveness, security and agility. The cloud you need, how and where you need it.
Another key aspect of the planning stage is an audit of the business’ internal expertise regarding deployment of cloud technologies. Is there enough internal resource to deliver a seamless, secure, optimised and appropriately priced migration. As with many business solutions, paying for support can be far cheaper in the long run.
How to choose the right cloud service provider
When a business doesn’t have the right expertise and guidance to ensure a smooth migration to the right solutions, you can use a cloud service provider which can offer consultation services. This means creating an inventory of your current assets and business operations merged with an understanding of your goals and requirements to identify which cloud solutions should be deployed where.
The service provider can move from providing consultation designing cloud architecture and readying a business’ current situation for the migration to undertaking the deployment of all solutions.
They can also then manage the cloud environment. If there is only a requirement for public cloud, this wouldn’t just involve selling the cloud on behalf of the larger provider but monitoring it 24/7 and helping with streamlining processes to make sure that each function gets most of the cloud. For private and hybrid cloud, a managed service means SLAs, constant monitoring, one singular bill, a fixed monthly cost, security and a dashboard to enable customers to view their cloud environment as its working.
In the same way that a hybrid cloud makes a lot of sense, outsourcing for cloud expertise is also a cost-effective method for gaining most Return on Investment. The likelihood is that most businesses do not need to hire a full-time cloud expert. They simply need a team to plan, deploy and then monitor their environment - the cheapest option which also provides the most expert resource - is to outsource this requirement. This team is not only cheaper but is constantly digesting data and insight from all industry sectors.
If you would like to learn more about different cloud solutions, deployment or how some of our customers have migrated over to the cloud, get in touch with us now.