The cloud is more than a valuable alternative; it is becoming a necessity for large corporations. It allows you to have lower operation, upfront and running capital expenses. It also allows for faster time to market, increased scalability, and very importantly, flexible pricing. Moving to the cloud may be the best way to run your applications and gain these benefits quickly without having to install new software, thus avoiding time delays, technical training issues, and the capital expense required to install hardware.
A lot of companies operate in this space, including Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo, IBM and many others.
In my opinion the most important factors to take into consideration before choosing a company to be your cloud server provider are the following:
No. 1: Robust management software.
Ensure the ease of use of the software for factors such as adding users and servers and modification of parameters. Make sure that deployment instructions are easy for users to follow and check the company’s record of migrating users and applications and software upgrades.
No. 2: On-demand Software Applications
On-demand software is the latest choice for companies to acquire software applications. Applications are acquired on a subscription basis. They are installed and hosted at the provider's site and you just pay a subscription or service fee.
Make sure that you have variety of choices that are suited for your business. Email and document management are the typical entry-level services, but you may want to add a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, document editing, business intelligence, etc. Also, make sure that the vendor you choose allows you to add custom software applications.
No. 3: Customer Support
I’ve heard horror stories from some of our customers about when they tried to make a move to the cloud with a large provider: spending extensive amounts of time on-hold on the phone, or being unable to solve their problems in a timely manner, which leads to extended downtime. Don’t just buy based on brand name alone; get recommendations and feedback from business associates that have made the move.
Moving or deploying your business software applications to the cloud can be a very smart business move, but you need to make sure you choose the right vendor to suit your company’s needs. You can choose from a number of cloud providers using a variety of cloud architectures, but look to partner with a provider that will take the time and effort to provide you with the right tools and customer service that allow you to focus on running your business, without interruptions.