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How to Select a Public Cloud Provider That is Right for Your Business

Last week, Verizon startled the IT markets by announcing that it was shutting down two of its public cloud services on April 12, 2016. All Verizon clients with accounts in these services must have their data moved to other services by that date or risk losing everything.

This has, no doubt, left some clients to scramble to find other solutions lest they put their businesses and customers at risk. But beyond the immediate need to relocate data and applications, this issue exposes a larger question: how can businesses find a public cloud services provider that they can trust and work with for the long term?

Choosing a Public Cloud Provider

Today, more businesses than ever are moving their data and critical business applications into public cloud environments. According to Gartner, “total annual spending on public cloud services will nearly double within four years … to over $282 billion in 2018.” With that much money flowing in the public cloud space and with companies like Verizon struggling to make a public cloud work, choosing the right public cloud provider is critical.

In the public cloud provider space, there are three main players: Amazon, Google and Microsoft. And while each has its own unique value proposition, they are all strong players and are likely to be around for a long time to come. So aligning yourself with one of these three providers can be a strong move that will secure the future of your data and critical business applications.

Selecting a Public Cloud Infrastructure Partner

So, which of the big three is right for your business? Naturally, that depends on what you need from your public cloud account. According to Matt Lemke, Atlantic BT’s VP of Technology, “you need make a conscious decision about the elements that are important to you. Factors such as a simple queuing service, email tie-ins and automated management of resource consumption are important to consider when making the decision.”

Unfortunately, there is no cut and dried way to make the selection. But working with an experienced cloud services solutions partner can simplify the decision-making process. When looking for public cloud partner, Lemke recommends considering the following questions:

  1. Is the partner locked into a specific vendor? A potential partner should have demonstrated experience in each of the three platforms. If the partner only works in one vertical, you are at risk of having your data and applications locked in with only one vendor. And that could limit your future growth options.
  2. Does the partner have experience with development on that public cloud platform? Some partners are very strong at managing resource allocation and monitoring the public cloud environment on your behalf. But the strongest partners also have the ability to develop applications within the platform you choose. Look for companies that have experienced IT architects that are fluent in the platform and can point to specific projects that they have worked on within the various public cloud platforms.
  3. What kind of ongoing support will the public cloud partner provide? Moving a critical business application to the public cloud does not end once the migration is complete. You will need ongoing support to monitor resource allocation and to help you control spending. An experienced, qualified public cloud partner can offer customized solutions that will meet your needs to maintain your public cloud environment and give you peace of mind in this critical area.

It is both an exciting and scary time for businesses considering how to secure the future of their critical business systems and data when it comes to the cloud. But finding the right public cloud infrastructure partner is a critical first step to alleviating those fears. If you’d like to know more about moving your business to the cloud, download our guide, “Getting Started with the Cloud.” This guide will help you better understand some of the decisions you need to make as you begin your transition to the public cloud.

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