Most, if not all small businesses today, do not have the capability of building an infrastructure that will support cloud computing. The required funds to build data centers that could support each other, not to mention the manpower support in needs are just too much.
The application development for cloud computing would also take time and considerable resources. Developers would be hired, testers will be needed and projected users (the employees) would have to be taken out of their regular operations just to test the cloud computing application. But even with this form of spending, the success of cloud computing is not even assured.
For that reason, small and even some large online businesses seek the assistance of a 3rd party provider. There are cloud computing providers that have the capability to handle any data processing needs of large and small businesses alike.
Internet giants such as Google and Amazon have the capability to offer highly extensive cloud computing support. Smaller companies based in the same area of the client also exist. Although they provide limited services to their clients, their capacity is more than enough for most small business needs.
But selecting the right cloud computing provider for small businesses is easier said than done. There are certain considerations every business would have to remember to ensure the selected provider would work as expected.
A Personal Checklist
Every business has different needs and those needs may or may not be provided by the cloud computing company. Before anything else could be said or transpire with the cloud computing provider, a business should have a “checklist” on what they sought from a provider.
The list should comprise on whether or not they need to emphasize on data processing rather than storage and other related functions. Although everything should be optimized, there are certain areas where the provider excels.
The “list” should never be compromised as much as possible. Providers would often replace a certain disadvantage with their advantage which might not be helpful at all with the client. Small changes in services provided may jeopardize the entire operation.
Businesses who opted to work with a vendor with their cloud computing needs should consider the financial stability of the provider first. Although money is almost irrelevant when it comes to basic services, money provides the backbone to everything a provider could do – from security of the data centers as well as the ability to handle enough manpower to deal with the updates as well as problems with the system. The worst case scenario for a company that does not have the financial stability is when they actually close down without notice.
Knowing the financial stability of the company requires research about the company’s history, its investors and its general popularity. Although the popularity doesn’t really mean financial stability, an increased focus will basically mean services that are either good or really bad.
Dealing with Downtime
No business should start their operations with the cloud computing vendor with a duly signed SLA (Service Level Agreement). The SLA will indicate the guaranteed uptime of the provider. In cloud computing, anything less than 99.9% will never work.
One of the distinguishing features of cloud computing is the assurance of an uptime to nearly 100%. Providers should be able to do this because of their multiple data centers which is a must for providers to ensure uptime. The process in dealing with downtime should also be indicated. This will provide clients the idea on how the problem could be dealt with.
Starting in cloud computing doesn’t happen in an instant. Vendors should explain to their clients how data migration will be implemented. This is the most important task for cloud computing vendors because this will not only deal with the future efficiency of the application but the security of the data as well.
A step by step plan with a corresponding time frame should be expected from the vendor. Although there are companies that will have more requirements from their clients for data migration, these are done to ensure proper migration without having to deal with future insecurities.
These things should be highly considered by any business before they proceed to cloud computing. The specific advantages for cloud computing will only be realized if the right vendor is selected.