When it comes to running a successful business, the right cloud service is a non-negotiable must-have for your corporate success. With that said, cloud technology can be somewhat challenging (and even frustrating) to understand.
Let's get into what all entrepreneurs need to know.
Assess Your Business Needs
Determining the right cloud platform comes down to what your business intends to actually use the services for. First things first, what kind of data and software do you need to store? If there's anything remotely sensitive, you'll need a private cloud, and it's as simple as that.
However, if you have information that's not sensitive to the public eye, you'll have more options available to you. This will come down to identifying the number of devices and people connected (if you have a very tiny start-up, this won't be a huge problem). It will also come down to plain and simple budgeting. There are numerous free public cloud services, but your data will not be as nearly protected.
Get the Timing Right
Too many entrepreneurs work inefficiently- they wait until after they need a service or product before purchasing it. This results in a hectic and scrambled process. Instead, take your time and plan out your course of action.
You want to have the right time to vet all your potential cloud service providers. You also want to get the service taken care of before you start launching your technology.
Know the Types of Clouds
First things first, there are four types of clouds: public, private, community, and hybrid.
Public clouds are available to use for the general public. They can be operated by a variety of owners including government organizations, major businesses, and academic institutions. While public clouds can be easy and even free, they are the most susceptible to cyber attacks and security breaches.
Private clouds are used exclusively by single organizations. They are entirely owned and operated by the organization or a third party, and they conceal and secure all data. They are more expensive than public clouds and they do require additional funding and budgeting for maintenance and staffing. This can require hiring more employees or IT staff within the organization.
Community clouds work within a 'community' of shared consumers or organizations with a common mission, compliance, or policy. They can be owned by one ore more of these participating organizations.
Hybrid clouds consist of at least two cloud infrastructures bound together. In a sense, they may represent offering the best of both worlds for businesses. For example, it may be a composition of both a public and private cloud or a community and public cloud. This kind of flexibility can be especially attractive for start-ups with changing needs, demands, and workplace considerations.
Choosing the Best Providers
Today, there is no shortage of cloud providers happy to serve your business's needs. The leading ones in the industry include:
- Amazon Web Services
- Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud Platform
- IBM Cloud
- Oracle Cloud
- Digital Ocean
I recommend looking through various online reviews and comparison charts to find the best service available to you. I've found that Amazon Web Services works flawlessly for my freelance business. It's affordable and intuitive and the support team has been top-notch in providing assistance when needed.