Cloud computing has drastically changed the way most companies around the world do business.  The concept is not new, however the way we approach and use the cloud has changed drastically over the last few years.  So as we look to do more with even less, how do we know what cloud provider is right for our business? Are all cloud providers the same?

We at CareWorks Tech believe not all solutions will fit a single cloud.  Many of our customers have taken different approaches depending on the application, security needs, cost, availability of resources….the list of why’s is a mile long.  However we have found some common themes through most of our conversations.

What are my business objectives? (and does my provider know/understand them)

Businesses can all be running in the cloud in a matter of hours–at this point all you need is a credit card and an account with Amazon.  However when we truly need a partner to move our critical business applications and processes to the cloud–are we all on the same page? Before we take our customers to the cloud we make sure that we are fully committed to understanding the business objectives, and in many cases the specific application objectives, that the business hopes to achieve with this move.  The conversations are no longer just about the technology advances, and a 99.9999% uptime and availability. These conversations can lead us down a path to a full public cloud, hybrid approach, or keeping that specific app in house. It all depends on what is needed, and what cost that specific app or business an absorb.

Where is my data located?

Safe and in the cloud–not an answer.  Specific businesses and applications need to be housed in locations that are safe and reliable—and sometimes even strategically placed close to the end users.  If this is a requirement of your app because of connectivity, data reliability, or safety and security–we work with our customers to find the right location, sometimes even geographical location, for their data and application.  In some cases letting AWS, Azure, or Google handle this will be just fine. In the end understanding the impact of the location of data on the business is something that needs to be addressed.

How is my data secure?

One of the biggest obstacles is data security and reliability—When we own the hardware that our data is running on we set the parameters for access, data retention, and disaster recovery.  When in the cloud that can either run in parallel with your own retention plans–or you can be completely at the mercy of what the cloud vendor has planned. Again this does not have to be an all or nothing venture.  Like the two examples above the approach can be taken based upon the business requirements by application, just as you would in your own data center. Having the right business conversation based on application and use case will draw out how secure and how reliable we need each application.

Can you grow with me?

For one of the biggest conversations about each and every cloud option is the flexibility of the platform for the end user.  How quickly can you scale, at what cost, and how quickly can you pull back on the resources that are needed, and at what cost?  We have seen countless examples of moves to the cloud–specifically into the large providers–where the work loads after the initial move drastically shrink. However the bill does not.  Proactivity and partnership–establish those guidelines quickly. We have conversations with our customers as a partner not just a vendor. We want to provide technology as the gateway to business growth and success and not just a line item on a quote.  The cloud solution we want to find for each of our customers is one that provides opportunity and scalability at a cost effective manner relative to the application and its importance.

Conclusion

Just like managed services providers–not all cloud vendors think and act alike.  When it comes down to finding that vendor–you have to find a partner. A person/company/solution that fits the job at hand, and not a one size fits all.  CareWorks Tech takes tremendous pride in our efforts to help our customers and prospects with their cloud journey, and will be there to provide the solution and/or guidance to answer all four of the above questions with this answer—This solution will provide the best technology, at the best value, with the best opportunity for business success and growth!