Article by Guest Poster
This article was written by a guest contributor. The author's views below are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of WHSR.
CRN estimates that cloud computing expenditure by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will approach one hundred billion dollars by 2014. That is a big number and there are some key reasons for this change from running applications on an in-house computer or server to an internet-based system. From increased flexibility and improved security, to reduced costs and remote access, the cloud provides an ideal solution for established businesses, franchised operations and start-up businesses which are looking to increase IT capacity or capabilities, without having to buy expensive kit, dish out hefty capital and maintenance costs, or deal with any harmful and unexpected system downtime.
Furthermore, recent research carried out by Rackspace Hosting in the UK and US, with the assistance of Manchester Business School, found that among the survey of 1,300 executives the cloud is seen as having the potential for far more than just saving money, because it is viewed as actually putting in place the foundations for the next entrepreneurial boom … But what should your fledgling or established company actually look for in a cloud services supplier? Where do you even begin? And what on earth is the cloud in the first place?
First of all, even though you are likely to know all about the cloud and what it entails, we are going to enjoy a brief recap of what the different types of services are:
The market is continuing to grow and new entrants are coming to light more and more. But which services provider is most suited to your business model and is going to ultimately increase the efficiency of your business? What metrics do they use? Do their definitions of performance sit with your own?
Questions. Questions. Questions.
They are essential and need answering when making a decision.
A business must identify a services provider with the full range of environments for its workloads; whether it is moderately static, fluctuated or unpredictable, and whether the data is to be proprietary or industry-regulated. In addition, you need to choose a provider that offers a foundation for your future cloud strategy. These are the specific characteristics a business should look for in a provider.
Trust is a word with many connotations but in terms of choosing a cloud services provider, it is about having faith in placing your business’ assets in the hands of an external company. So, what trust factors should you look for:
In the end it comes down to your decisions as a business owner, taking into account current and future needs. There is no right or wrong answer – there are only the unique qualities and demands of your business, which must take priority when making this kind of decision. So good luck, and as long as you do the proper research and keep in mind your business needs, the cloud can be the next effective step for your business.