Cloud computing has moved well beyond being a simple buzzword: It’s now a full-blown movement that offers the chance to radically transform your company’s IT and business processes. Of course, with this massive growth in cloud computing comes a rise in the number of cloud computing and hosting providers selling all manner of cloud solutions for your business.
Because there are so many potential cloud vendors offering their services, it can be hard to figure out which solution is the best choice for your company, especially if you’re making your first foray into the cloud. Unfortunately, the cloud provider market is filled with vendors that make big promises about what they can deliver, then disappoint during the deployment.
Your choice of a cloud and hosting provider can mean the difference between a successful deployment that’s worth every penny and a disastrous deployment that only ends up wasting your money. With so much at stake for your company, you can’t afford to choose the wrong cloud vendor, especially if you’re moving business-critical or confidential data into the cloud.
When talking with cloud vendors, don’t be wowed by flashy presentations and swarms of buzzwords and technical terms. Instead, look at the vendor’s track record of previous deployments. Cloud experience really matters when choosing a cloud and hosting provider to partner with your business. But what kind of experience should you be looking for?
Experience in Various Cloud Options
Ideally, your prospective cloud provider should have experience in various cloud options, such as private, public and hybrid clouds. This is especially important if you plan to implement a hybrid cloud solution or if you anticipate changing the type of deployment later on.
Many businesses use the hybrid cloud as a trial or stepping stone to using a public cloud solution. If this is the case for you, make sure you choose a partner that has experience with both types of deployments. It’ll be much easier to switch your cloud solution when you’re working with the same vendor, rather than having to change horses in the middle of a stream.
Cloud providers with experience in multiple types of solutions have a number of advantages. Because they’ve done deployments in the past, they know how to build the cloud infrastructure in order to maximize its reliability and performance, and they can provide better support and maintenance when need be. Experienced cloud providers are familiar with the nuances of cloud solutions and will usually work harder to understand your unique needs as a business.
Experience in Different Verticals
As cloud computing becomes more and more mainstream, businesses are looking beyond general-purpose solutions for their storage, email and office productivity software. Instead, there’s a growing trend for companies moving to the cloud to find vendors that have industry-specific experience with their particular vertical.
Industries such as healthcare, insurance, government and banking have traditionally been reluctant to move to the cloud due to concerns about the security of their enterprise and customer data. Other fields with less regulation, such as retail, manufacturing and media, have eagerly adopted cloud solutions.
Not only is it important that your cloud provider has experience with different types of cloud solutions, they should also have experience in providing cloud services to different verticals. Although your company’s industry isn’t likely to change (as your cloud solution might), a vendor with experience in multiple verticals has shown that it’s not just a one-trick pony. However, if you’re in a vertical where the data is critical from a compliance standpoint, such as healthcare or finance, it might make sense to choose a vendor that specializes in cloud solutions for sensitive data.
Meeting Compliance Standards
Speaking of data compliance, it’s absolutely essential that your vendor has experience in whatever standards apply to your industry. For example, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and the HITECH Act (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) regulate how patients’ sensitive data can be stored by healthcare providers and also establish fines for the loss of such information.
Other compliance standards that might apply to your business include SOC 2 Type 2 (finance), PCI-DSS v3.2 (credit card data), SSAE 16 (service organizations), EU-US Privacy Shield (consumer privacy), and ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (IT security). No matter what regulations apply to your industry, you need to go with a vendor that has experience dealing with those regulations through their work with other clients.
Whatever your business needs, OneNeck gets it. It might make sense for one application to live in the public cloud, such as Microsoft Azure, where you can enjoy the simplicity, low cost and flexibility that its workload requires. Or maybe it makes sense to place the application in a hosted private cloud, like OneNeck’s ReliaCloud, where you have the trust, control and reliability that this critical workload demands. Or, since things are rarely that simple, it could require a combination of both solutions — a hybrid approach. We are here and ready to assist you in finding the best cloud computing solution for your business.