Companies worldwide use cloud services to improve information storage and other processes. According to experts, the market for cloud services is growing rapidly. Its volume is expected to reach 397 billion in 2022.
What does this all mean for end-users? This could mean an increase in cloud platforms and services, as well as an expansion of end-user toolkits. It can be hard to make the right decision when there is so much supply.
This article will discuss cloud services and their benefits. It will also explain how to select a cloud service that is both secure and beneficial for your company.
What are Cloud Services and Platforms exactly?
A set of digital services offered to businesses by a cloud service. This can be used to solve various tasks, such as storing data, launching web pages or apps, or performing analytics. A cloud platform is a system that combines multiple services and allows users to access them.
Cloud services date back to the 1950s. Scientists came up with the idea to create a system that could easily be accessed by multiple employees from different locations, amid computers taking over entire buildings.
Cloud services were popularized in the 70s, and again in the 90s as the Internet became more reliable.
Amazon provided software to users in 2002 that allowed them access to data storage and computing tools. This was all implemented as a cloud service.
Cloud services today are different from the cloud services used by companies back in 2000. These cloud services are hybrid systems that offer a broad range of functionality. They also make it easier for the general consumer to access them.
Cloud services in different types
There are three types of cloud services depending on the specifics:
- Software as a Service – SaaS
- Platform as a service – PaaS
- Infrastructure as a service – IaaS
Let’s begin with SaaS. This cloud service gives users a ready-made final product. This means that the service does not require a technical expert to be set up. The solution is accessible by almost anyone. This service is available for popular products such as Salesforce, Atlassian Family, Slack, etc.
PaaS is the second type. These digital tools are for developers. These tools allow you to create websites and apps. The components include repositories, databases services, and other tools. PaaS includes Google App Engine (IBM Bluemix), Microsoft Azure (MS Azure), and Amazon Web Services (Amazon Web Services).
IaaS is the third type of cloud service. These services are for system administrators. They are digital analogs of hardware. Data storage drives, networks, and processors are all included. This category includes services such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, among others.
It is important to mention that certain cloud service platforms offer such a broad range of tools that it includes services of multiple types (for example, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services as well as Google Cloud).
Cloud services have the main benefits
Cloud services can be a great tool for anyone who wants to reduce costs and streamline their IT processes. Let’s look at some of their key advantages.
1. Cloud services simplify processes
Cloud services can be used by companies to avoid the need for IT infrastructure. Many businesses can use the services offered by a cloud platform. They do not need to address the issues of system operability or update it independently.
2. Cloud services can save you money
A cloud service that is selected correctly will save a company money over the situation where it would have to hire system administrators and make sure the hardware is available. Cloud services are only charged for what they use. There is no excess payment in the event of downtime.
3. Cloud services allow you to work faster
This is a combination of a faster development process and shortened time-to-market. In many cases, a company that is faster than its competitors wins.
While there are many benefits to cloud services, let’s not forget about the most important issue security. There are many opinions on the topic. We can mention one interesting conclusion from a cyber security expertat a large software company.
Let’s talk about the key criteria that you should consider when selecting a cloud service that is secure and efficient for your company.
Selection criteria for cloud service
Many metrics can be used in determining whether a cloud provider is right for you. We are listing the ones that we believe are universally applicable for all companies.
1. Conformance with standards and certificates
It is a sign of security that a cloud service provider adheres to accepted standards, as evidenced by the practice. This criterion can be used for selecting cloud services to add to your shortlist. HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI-DSS are the primary certifications. ISO 27017 and ISO 27018 are also important.
Cloud services use different technologies to create a secure and productive collaboration. What technologies do you use to meet your internal requirements? What do you know about their details?
3. Privacy and data management
You may be already using a data classification scheme that defines data types by your privacy policies. Check the data rules of the cloud service and determine if they conflict with yours.
Cloud providers can help you meet your specific needs and obligations. This is a crucial issue. Before you agree to cooperate with the service, it should be examined.
Data security issues are mainly restricted and regulated by the above-mentioned standards.
4. Cooperation experience
You can see the cases of companies that have used cloud services. Pay attention to businesses that have similar tasks to yours.
A cloud consultant is a good option if you are unable to have such an experience. Many IT companies now offer these services.
5. The signing of agreements and partnership style
It is difficult to assess this criterion until you have used the service. There are some things you should pay attention to when signing a contract.
Cloud service provider agreements are often complicated and misleading.
This is partially solved by the most recent revision of the ISO standards regarding service level agreements, ISO/IEC 19086-2: 2016. It can therefore be used to evaluate agreements with cloud providers.
There are many types of agreements, from online-negotiated “terms and conditions” agreements to individual contracts. It is important to pay attention to the details of your security policy and to the flexibility of your partner in responding to your requests to make changes.
6. Performance and reliability
There are many ways to assess the performance of a cloud service.
You can, for example, check the performance over the past six to twelve months against their service level agreement (SLA). This information is shared by many services and is available in the public domain. This information can also be requested.
You should remember that cloud services are not perfect and downtime is a common occurrence. It is important to see how the vendor handles downtime. You should verify that the monitoring and reporting tools proposed are adequate and compatible with your management and reporting systems.
You should ensure that the provider you choose has tested, documented, and documented processes for preventing and eliminating planned and unplanned downtime.
They should also have protocols that describe how they will communicate with customers during disruptions. This includes timeliness and prioritization as well as how to evaluate problem severity.
Remember to consider the legal recourses and liability available to you by the cloud provider in case of service interruptions.
7. You can easily switch to another cloud provider
Sometimes you may need to change cloud providers. This is common in a market economy. However, you may need to move from one cloud provider to another.
It is a good idea to plan ahead for the easy transfer of your data, and other projects.
How do you do it? If you are looking to switch suppliers, avoid using patented technology if it is not necessary for your task. This is where technology’s versatility will be more beneficial for your business.
8. Company profile and business health
As we have said, it is important to study the cases of other cloud providers before you use their services. We recommend that you also study the company’s profile and position in the market.
Most often, public data is available that allows you to see trends and ratings for cloud services. Sometimes, a few hours spent studying this information can be enough to make a decision.
For large companies that are looking for a partner in cloud computing, it is important to not only look at the publicly available information. Your experts can ask cloud service providers for information such as market share, number, and future plans.
Although companies don’t always share all information, the possibility of a loyal customer is often enough to tip the balance.
Cloud services are becoming an essential part of today’s business environment. Cloud services allow companies to save time and money and make their day easier.
It is important to carefully consider the process of choosing a cloud provider.
Subscribe to our newsletter! Join us on social networks!