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How To Choose A Cloud Provider? 6 Things To Consider

4 Min. Read

There’s no denying it – cloud technology is the future. And there is no shortage of cloud providers to choose from.

Choosing the right cloud provider for your organization is critical for the success and well-being of your business and day-to-day tasks.

Whether you’re considering one of the multi-billion dollar cloud corporations, such as Google or Microsoft, or would prefer something smaller and bespoke, or cloud tech that caters to your industry’s niche, we have put together a list of things to consider when choosing a cloud provider.

What is Cloud Technology & Why Do We Need It?

Cloud technology – or cloud computing – is the storage and delivery of compute data (including software, analytics, servers, programs, and databases) that can be located via the internet (AKA, the “cloud”), as opposed to via a local server or computer hard drive.

What is Cloud Technology & Why Do We Need It?
Flickr Image by Blue Coat Photos

It allows you to access whatever you need that you have stored in a cloud from anywhere in the world – and from any device – all you need is an internet connection.

It allows quick and easy access to our storage and applications without relying on an IT infrastructure, which is often more costly and less secure and reliable.

Some of the reasons more and more companies are turning to cloud computing are:

  • It’s extremely flexible and can cater to the growth and fluctuation of an organization at any given time.
  • It’s safe storage. Your data is in a safer location when “in a cloud” than when it’s on a local hard drive. You can also access cloud-based recovery solutions for additional peace of mind.
  • Cloud service providers will take care of all necessary software updates, relieving you of the time and hassle of doing it yourself. This includes security updates.
  • Lessens the cost of hardware resources. You can invest in a pay-as-you-go subscription based on your company’s usage, saving you money rather than going down the infrastructure route.
  • It is ideal for businesses that collaborate with third parties, clients, or other persons not directly involved within the company because they can access any relevant storage from wherever they’re based. And because cloud computing is real-time, any updates or edits are instantaneous.
  • It’s perfect for remote workers or individuals who travel a lot for work.
  • Security and backup. Anything stored in a cloud is locatable, no matter what disaster strikes. If a laptop is damaged or stolen or technology malfunctions – your work will not be lost, as it automatically updates and saves.
  • Much quicker transferable data. And support via your cloud storage provider is easily accessed.

How to Choose a Cloud Provider?

Cloud computing isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair. Your needs will differ from others because every business model is unique, and every company has its list of factors to consider. So when looking for the right cloud provider for you, bear in mind the following:

Technology

Every company has a different level of tech that they rely on to help maintain their business, so it is important to choose a cloud service provider who is in alignment with your organization’s cloud objectives and technological situation.

When evaluating a potential cloud service candidate, it is important to ask yourself if their standards, services, and cloud architecture is compatible with your workload, management system, and day-to-day projects.

Information Security

Security is crucial to all businesses, particularly those that hold a lot of sensitive data. So, when choosing a cloud provider, always ensure clarity and transparency on the maturity and reliability of their security processes and policies.

Be sure that they have recognized certifications and can provide security audit reports that offer peace of mind that they can provide security that is in alignment with your organization’s needs.

If your organization holds sensitive data, choosing a bespoke cloud service package is the best option, as basic packages will not have the right security needs for you – these need to be tailored to your business.

Certifications

Speaking of certifications, ensure you don’t settle for a cloud provider that cannot demonstrate industry standards and accredited certifications.

Researching a cloud provider’s authenticity and reliability will help you find a company that ensures full cloud safety.

Good Communication

This goes both ways. You must communicate your cloud needs as clearly and honestly as possible to ensure the cloud service provider knows exactly what your priorities are and can deliver a service as matched to that as possible.

Once you’ve laid your cloud cards out on the table, be sure to then assess whether the provider is on the same page and can communicate the right solution for you. Any communication barriers, or information that somehow gets misconstrued or lost in translation, will no doubt mean your full cloud needs will not be met.

Reliability

Choosing a cloud service provider with a strong background in reliability and providing services with excellent storage and security and is hot on preventing cyber attacks and lost data is paramount for the success of your organization.

Again – do your research. Look into cloud providers and what their customers are saying about them.

Budget

Naturally, the amount you are willing/able to pay for cloud services will play a role in your decision.

Who Are the Main Cloud Service Providers?

As mentioned earlier, there is no shortage of cloud service providers.

However, the three “heavyweights” as of 2023 are undoubted:

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Top Cloud Service Providers
Top Cloud Service Providers

Here are the tools of each:

Microsoft AzureGoogle GCPAmazon AWS
Data & predictive analyticsData storage & managementApp integration
Game & app developmentApp developmentManagement tools
Scalable data warehousingManagement toolsData & storage solutions
DevOpsSME business analytics & AIProductivity tools
Blockchain techPredictive analytics & machine learning
LOT integration
OpenAI

Choosing a Cloud Provider: FAQs

How do I set up & configure a Google cloud environment?

If you’ve opted for Google GCP and wish to set up and configure a cloud environment for your business, you can learn how to do that here.

How do I deploy a VM in Azure?

If you’ve opted to use Microsoft Azure, you can learn how to create a VM in 6 easy methods.

Learn more: 5 Critical Best Practices to hardening your Azure VMs.

How do I improve my security posture in AWS?

If you’ve opted for Amazon GCP and wish to improve your security posture for your business, you can learn 6 tips to achieve a robust security posture.

What are the fastest cloud storage services?

As of 2023, the best-known cloud services for their speed are:

  • Google Drive
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Ice Drive
  • pCloud

What types of cloud service models are there?

There are currently three main types:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

You can also find other subtypes of cloud services such as Backup as a Service (BaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), and Security as a service (SECaaS).

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Thank you for reading my blog.

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

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About the Author
Charbel Nemnom
Charbel Nemnom is a Senior Cloud Architect, Swiss Certified ICT Security Expert, Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP), and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). He has over 20 years of broad IT experience serving on and guiding technical teams to optimize the performance of mission-critical enterprise systems with extensive practical knowledge of complex systems build, network design, business continuity, and cloud security.

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