The idea of cloud computing has been around for some time now, but business owners around the world are beginning to fully realise its potential, and today, it is no longer a question of whether to use cloud technology or not but what cloud platform to use. With considerations such as cost-efficiency all the way through to sustainability, cloud computing has numerous benefits to Australian businesses.
Assess your business needs
Migrating to the cloud isn’t a simple flick-a-switch task, and it can’t be done overnight. It is a major undertaking that requires planning, time, and management, to ensure all your business’ processes are carried over to the cloud without a hitch. To achieve this, a sound migration strategy is needed and that requires knowing what your long-term needs and goals are.
Once you have worked out what those needs are, you can start looking at different cloud services. Bear in mind there is a cloud service for almost every type of business, from public, private or hybrid cloud plans.
Consider platform performance and reliability
With so many cloud platforms to select from, it is important to consider the set up and architecture, and how this will integrate with your workflows, to scale effectively in the future. Organisations already invested in the Microsoft world may find it makes sense to choose Azure as their cloud solution, as everything is then seamless and compatible, ensuring simple migration and maintenance, as well as cost efficiencies.
Consider the reliability and performance of the cloud platform, by looking at reviews from existing and past clients, as well as the certifications held by the provider, and the overall reliability. The reality is that all cloud providers experience downtime, so how is this handled and is there a well documented and failsafe process in place for managing both planned and unplanned downtime. Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure are leading cloud providers that guarantee almost 99.999% uptime, so your business shouldn’t experience more than 6 minutes of downtime in one year. These factors are important to consider if accessing your data and business systems is vital at all times.
When choosing a cloud provider it is vital to know what your business security goals are and to have a well planned strategy for cloud security in place. This enables you to look at the details of security measures offered by each cloud platform, and what systems are in place to protect data and applications. You should also consider the security features offered that are standard free features, and whether additional third-party products and integrations will be needed.
If you’re subject to GDPR, HIPAA, or other industry regulations, you must make sure your cloud platform meets them to ensure your applications and data are safeguarded properly. It is also vital to be aware of your business responsibilities in terms of data and security compliance, and how the provider can assist you.
Cloud backup and disaster recovery
Leading cloud service providers offer reliable data backup and recovery, but the speed and simplicity of the procedure should be considered when choosing a platform. Microsoft Azure, for example, provides economical, easy, and comprehensive cloud backup services. Disaster cloud recovery, which is the ability to reinstate your hosting service after a disaster, should be offered as a standard cloud hosting feature, and be easy, scalable, secure, and cost-effective.
Cloud storage and scalability
It’s important to choose a cloud provider that provides scalability as your business changes and grows, so your cloud storage solution can handle the additional workload. In general, cloud providers will charge for the amount of disk space used, which will depend on your company’s requirements and this can change quite rapidly. Choosing a cloud provider that has cheaper pricing structures may mean you sacrifice scalability, which can be detrimental and cost more in the long term.
Cloud for business sustainability
In recent years, there has been a huge push globally for businesses to consider their environmental impact. Google, Amazon, and Facebook are just some of the mega companies who have announced changes to their processes to become more environmentally friendly. Switching IT operations to a cloud provider can significantly reduce carbon emissions and electricity consumption, as servers are operating at high utilisation rates, increasing the use of energy efficient equipment and reducing carbon emissions. Employees, stakeholders, and customers are all more attracted to organisations that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability as part of their business strategy, and cloud computing is a big part of that move forward.
Choose the right cloud platform with the experts
Choosing the right cloud platform for your business is a big decision, with many benefits to consider. Partner with the team of cloud experts at Virtu, who will work with you to choose the cloud platform that best suits your business needs, implement a seamless migration strategy, and optimise your cloud environment.