By Rafael Lambauer | 04.05.2017
Cloud or no cloud? This question is probably playing on the minds of thousands of Swiss companies. IT admins, managers and finance departments first have to gain an overview of what’s on offer before realising that it’s easier said than done to compare the various offers of the different cloud providers. This is because there are a lot of differences when it comes to the terminology used and there’s no uniformity when it comes to the individual services offered, much to the annoyance of customers.
After research has been completed, the question remains: which is the best cloud solution and which provider can meet my requirements?
With our five tips, you’ll be in a position to carry out a rough analysis of your chosen cloud providers and whittle down the selection.
Be aware that certain applications and data should be stored on a dedicated server for security and regulatory reasons. To clarify which processes and data to move to the cloud, it is recommended to carry out a needs analysis.
Also be aware of industry-specific and legal requirements. Do you have to/want to comply with specific data protection guidelines? If yes, your future cloud partner has to offer the appropriate services for comprehensive data backup.
We recommend you check exactly if your selected cloud solution allows for the infrastructure to be flexibly extended and whether the cloud provider is in a position to react quickly when needed.
Flexibility also covers the easy and fast integration of new applications and features that’s why you should always consider which investments in applications need to be made and take them into account when making your decision.
The solution used needs to be able to grow with the company. It’s therefore worth checking how flexible the cloud solution is when it comes the changing needs of the company (e.g. changing business processes)
Work with a provider whose structure and philosophy match those of your own company. You will be in regular contact with the provider even after implementation, which is why a mutual understanding of your business will make cooperation much better.
One example is, in the long-term, an SME will not feel comfortable with an international cloud partner and miss the personal support. There can be many reasons for this—language barrier (support based abroad), no idea where data is stored, the cloud provider lacks flexibility, no individual services or the SME is only a small fish.
Internal satisfaction is directly linked to the availability and quality of the cloud an also has a significant impact on the motivation and performance of your employees. When it comes to implementation, the provider should be able to support you both technically and operationally so that the new cloud solution is a success from the start. Project experience is key.
Your future outsourcing partner needs to provide maximum security. This includes the expertise, experience, use of leading technologies and a broad range of automated security measures (antivirus, antispam, backup solutions, disaster management, monitoring, etc.)
Also consider the location of the data centre in your analysis. We recommend a Swiss data centre for two reasons. The legal and political situations in Switzerland are stable plus you know with certainty that your data will remain within Switzerland and not just any data centre in some far-flung corner of the world.
Transparent costs are a must which is why you should always be mindful of a clearly-defined service catalogue and guaranteed SLA. This transparency needs to be guaranteed over the entire period of the contract. Make sure you look for any hidden costs.
The increasing number of cloud providers in Switzerland has led to a huge amount of competition that is characterised by price promises which normally come at the expense of services. Be critical, question every offer and compare each with your needs.
We recommend including support in the cost report and that this is guaranteed by a Single Point of Contact.
On the other hand, experienced providers will adapt to your IT and ensure SLAs are specified. In this way, the needs of all employees can be met. The moral, is therefore, get advice and don’t make any concessions at the expense of your requirements.
A cloud solution will enable you to free up resources for your core business, as long as the solution and provider have undergone in-depth analysis beforehand.
Rafael Lambauer began his cloud specialist career as a mediamatician ten years ago. Today, he is a customer advisor in cloud computing and his core skills are those of managed services and cloud computing. His motto that “with coffee and a thorough needs analysis there’s always a solution to be found” has never led him astray. Whether he’s travelling, having a beer with friends, or hiking in the Alps, Rafael Lambauer loves discovering new things and spending time in the great outdoors.