Cloud computing is a happening technology now a days, not only big companies but tremendous amount of advantages it brings to the small companies has made is a popular choice. Everyone wants to be a part of this new edge technology.
What is a Cloud service?
Cloud Services refers to the services provided by third-party network to store and manage all your data, just by using Internet.
Think of it like a office somewhere in the cloud kidding. To more simplify this, just like Cloud Storage which allows to store you date so that you can access it anytime any where Services like Google doc, Zoho provides office tools which are the best replacement of Microsoft office suite which consumed about 1GB space of your local hard disk .
This means you don’t have to buy any Service/Software outright, you can hire or use them on subscription basis from a Cloud Service Providers
How is Cloud different from traditional Services
Suppose you want to edit a picture in your computer. Here are the steps traditionally you will follow:
- First step while doing this is to search an image editor (For example Adobe Photoshop).
- Download its setup (162 MB) from internet or search for friends who have this setup.
- Install that software on local disk (consume 650 MB)
- After Successfully Installation run that software.
- Edit your Image and Save.
Now if you decide to use Cloud Service for the same image editing, using the same Photoshop software, all you need is an internet connection.
- One Step – You can access that software by typing its URL in browser and start doing your work.
Access to application such as image editor, office application etc.without actually installing it into your local system. Isn’t it great!
Why Cloud Services can be Best bet for Startups
- Capital- As most of the Startups are cash crunched, investing in software infrastructure can be heavy on your pockets. Cloud gives you ‘pay as you use’ option which reduces your operation cost significantly
- You can upgrade you systems with the latest version without any extra cost
- Cuts your cost which goes on IT support team. And web-based voice services like Skype can reduce your phone expenses.
- Security and compliance issues are taken care by the service providers
- Accessibility is a major point, you can shift your office to anywhere.
- Cloud Services is getting cheaper day by day with major players coming into the picture
How to find Best Cloud Service Provider
Before Zeroing down on the Cloud Service provider for your Business, here are some points you need to keep in mind
Compare price and go for the best plan. Find how do they charge monthly or yearly. What is renewal policy, How will you be able to exit, is there any hidden charges. Find the Contract details of the plan.
Performance depends on the geographical and Platform architecture of the cloud service provider. Find out what kind of memory server instances they use, it can be small single core or huge memory instances. Depending on the storage IO performance varies.
Most important factor to consider in a cloud service is features. The best cloud computing services are those that allow you maximum number of feature that you are looking for and allow you to upload and save any type of file with ease to store into your local hard disk.It allows you to view, edit and share your content regardless of what computer or device you are using. Other features to look for include automatic syncing of your files across all your devices, and password-protected sharing and file encryption to safeguard your content.
Ease of Use
Services should be easy to understand and easy to use. Interface should be user friendly. Investment time to understand and ease of use to that application should be minimum.
Imagine a worst case scenario, where your service provider went out of business or you want to change you service provide, in this case knowing how your cloud backs up your data and how will you be able to get it back. Find how many data centers are there and what are the locations in which they are there and how redundant they are. Although cloud computing instances can be distributed, disasters do happen.
SLA – Service Level Agreement
In case something goes wrong an event of under performance or a service outage, the provider should offer generous service credits in return.
Subscribers need to understand processes in place for handling major outages and how, when, and with what detail the service provider communicates these issues with the client.
In case you are unhappy with your cloud provider and want to change the cloud provider, how easily are you able to do it. You should understand how much difficult it will be to move your data and applications to another Cloud. There can be lock-in for platform, lock-in for tool and Data lock-in which you need to know about.
For example lock-in for ‘Data’ is where company data is stored in the infrastructure of your service provider and will that provider be able to retrieve your data as well as backup so your shift from one cloud to another is easy. This you can understand by getting to know their architecture.
Getting help when you need very is crucial when we are trying our hand to a new technology. If support is available with the services then user got enough confidence while using it. Available support options should include technical assistance via telephone, email and live chat. The service should also provide a knowledge base, FAQs and user forums as resources.
Important point of moving to Cloud for Small businesses and startup is to be Smart, and if due diligence is given before finding the right service provider it will be double advantage to you. Wish you all the best with your venture.