How to determine the best cloud service provider for your business.

As the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged most businesses to shift to remote work environments, it’s the cloud that made this possible. Although popularity for cloud computing increased in the wake of this pandemic, businesses have long since being depending on its services to make operations faster, simpler and more productive. With businesses that function by otherwise conventional means also on the cloud bandwagon (thanks to using certain niche services such as hosted storage applications or video conferencing), it’s evident as to just how extensive the proliferation of cloud support services has become.
But this is just one side of the coin; while the versatility provided by cloud-based services benefits businesses, it also offers leverage to something that consumers increasingly seek for, which are ondemand services. In a fast-paced and highly competitive digital landscape where options are ubiquitous, offering something that’s easily and quickly accessible is what makes one product stand out from its counterparts.
As an agency that specializes in software outsourcing in Sri Lanka, we’ve learned a thing or two owing to working with clients across different industries, and in a digital ecosystem that’s constantly evolving. With businesses striving to strike a balance between cost efficiency and customer experience, cloud computing has paved the way to not just make this possible – but bountiful.
So if you’re looking to choose the best cloud service provider for your business, how do you embark on this journey of finding one? Considering just how broad the category of enterprise cloud services is, it’s not surprising to feel confused or just plain overwhelmed. In order to make this goal attainable, asking the right questions is what will aid your decision-making process. But this also requires a slight shift in perception.

“Instead of asking which cloud service provider is best for your business, ask your team what problems they are facing, first.”

Flipping the problem to reflect on your business, as opposed to the cloud service providers out there, has two main advantages. For one, it enables efficient problem-solving by encouraging your team to be focused on the solution. Secondly, it simplifies the search for suitable solutions amidst a complex, interconnected web of services. To start off, gather relevant members from your team to discuss challenges, including many on a junior level (as these folks are the end users of your current systems, and will likewise be the end users of your future systems too).

  1. What problems currently exist, and how are these problems hindering deliverables/productivity?
  2. Who is using your current systems, and are there any commitments that need to be fulfilled for regular maintenance?
  3. What is your budget?

After gathering sufficient insight, compile all this information into an assessment which you can then share with cloud service providers or consultants for reference. This will provide them with a basic idea on what your business pains are, and guide them to delve deeper into your business requirements.
While you focus on introspecting within your own business, it’s helpful to know the general strengths and weaknesses of the three major cloud providers that dominate the current enterprise tech space, in the meantime.

1. AWS
Being the leading cloud service provider till date, this Amazon subsidiary has earned its reputation with its long-standing presence as one, while also catering to a wide variety of offerings. This thereby renders AWS as a provider that will empower businesses to be seldom reliant on multiple cloud providers, by providing a one-stop-shop for all things cloud.
While cloud services are well known for their cost-savings quotient, AWS takes this a step further by providing numerous pricing options. Select one that is best suited to your budget and/or usage, and you have further savings in the interest of complete cost optimization.

2. Microsoft Azure
Albeit coming at a close second to AWS, certain advantages that Azure can offer are probably what no other provider can. Easily integrated with existing Microsoft services such as Office 365, this makes Azure a highly considered option amongst a significant fraction of businesses that already depend on services such as Outlook, on a global level.
Giving businesses the convenience to integrate and deploy without undergoing massive migration processes, Azure gets the upper hand here, when compared to its counterparts. This also reduces, if not alleviates, other subsequent commitments that usually need to be fulfilled post-implementation, such as training.

3. Google Cloud
Being closely interconnected across the online medium thanks to being a search engine giant and an extensive video network (YouTube), Google Cloud presents potential for digital marketing that is unprecedented. Add to this the opportunities provided by its advanced analytics tools, which range from its famed Google Analytics, to machine learning applications.
With a scope that combines the best of digital marketing and analytics, Google Cloud offers businesses the capacity to target business goals with all what it can offer first-hand – thereby making it a powerhouse for data and analytics across the digital landscape.

In a nutshell…
Although a topic of high interest as of late due to more businesses embracing remote work environments, the cloud has long since been the norm for most modern-day businesses, for even those that operate by otherwise traditional means. Offering so much versatility and autonomy, relying on the cloud and its services isn’t just a no-brainer – but a necessity, considering this highly competitive, ondemand consumer culture.
Doing a detailed assessment of your business by understanding the problems that exist, who uses your systems and what you can afford in terms of budget is resourceful for your technology partner or consultant to determine which solutions to suggest for your business.
With each of the three leading cloud providers (AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud) having their own unique strengths, it all boils down to what your business needs in order to thrive – and whether one provider alone can fulfil every single requirement.