Deciding between different cloud platforms and in-house systems can be a headache, particularly when weighing your needs against what’s available. You can distill all the pros and cons into the following points.
1. Cost vs. Scalability
Cost savings used to be the cloud’s main selling point, thanks to their drastically lower capital expenditures. But as the cloud’s complexity has increased, so has the difficulty in pricing these services.
Today’s businesses consider scalability as the main driver for cloud use. As demand changes, a cloud provider can easily scale hardware and capacity up or down – not an easy job for companies that own their infrastructure!
2. Cloud vs. In-house… or Mixed
Your business model dictates your cloud strategy. Prioritize the cloud for new applications and services (where demand is difficult to predict) or enterprise applications with predictable peak periods.
On the other hand, companies have been known to move services both ways. Dropbox formerly ran on the public cloud, but is now investing in its own data centers . Then there’s General Electric, which has been pushing more of its data onto cloud services . Consider a mix of platforms as the most practical approach.
3. Designing a Cloud Contract
Because every cloud contract is different, it can be very difficult to evaluate value-for-money. Certainly, your contract should allow for ease of data migration between providers. Just as your business needs would change over time, so too will your cloud provider’s key focus. You need to be able to quickly switch providers if they move in a different direction. And you should be able to exit a contract just as easily as you signed up to it.
The Key to Success
Having the flexibility to switch rapidly between different providers will provide a key business advantage, and could help you save an average of USD3.6 million by averting security breaches and optimizing cloud resources for your company’s specific needs. With so many factors to evaluate, consider having a consultant to develop a cloud management system which can control and assess all your different providers, and help you seamlessly integrate your cloud services.