How to Evaluate Which Public Cloud
is Best For Your Business

Cloud Options for Your BusinessPursuing the path of innovation has led us to a point of near-total adoption of cloud-based products.

But that’s not exactly breaking news.

“The cloud” — in all of its varied applications and definitions — is now unquestionably associated with efficiency, accessibility, and innovation.

As technology continues to evolve around and within the cloud, companies are increasingly using it for enterprise-wide operations. According to the RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud Report, public cloud adoption increased to 92 percent in 2018 from 89 percent in 2017.

The survey also uncovered that enterprises see public cloud as the top priority, up from 29 percent in 2017 to 38 percent in 2018. Some companies even have a multiple cloud strategy to achieve the business and technical objectives that are unique to their organization.

Applications in the Cloud

Regardless of your industry or growth stage, a business often relies on a variety of applications. And they need to do more than just function properly. They should, ideally, make the best use of the available services and products in whatever environment they operate.

Some applications — especially those with legacy requirements — are not necessarily designed to run well in a cloud environment. As such, they quickly lose or diminish the watershed benefits of the cloud, some of our favorites being:

  • Flexibility to hand-pick what your application utilizes and have options to build new solutions
  • Scalability to consume resources based on demand
  • Reliable access to a cost-effective and secure global computing infrastructure that continues to benefit from continual innovation

3 Questions to Illuminate Your Public Cloud Discussion

Public cloud providers offer a broad range of products and services that we can use as building blocks to run customized, scalable applications. This is a game changer in many ways, but it really boils down to high-fidelity access and service with low-fidelity commitment on your end. With the public cloud, you can leverage power, storage and other resources with no up-front commitment or long-term contract.

Before jumping into the process, I suggest asking yourself and your stakeholders the following questions to provide an objective lens for your selection discussion.

1. Does the cloud provider offer the technology that I need?

The key to this question is examining the requirements for each business unit and application that does, or will potentially, function in the cloud. Because there is no one-size-fits-all cloud provider, seemingly identical services or products (among providers) may actually have notable differences that’ll impact your choice of technology.

When you scratch the surface, it becomes apparent how varied the levels of compatibility are amongst different cloud providers. We’re often drawn to them due to clever marketing or fancy features, but realistically, your team may choose a provider simply because it supports Oracle Database Services more robustly than another offering. Choosing a cloud provider often comes down to just that — capability and cost savings.

Keep in mind, however, that going beyond these surface-level comparisons is necessary. You need to determine, for example, whether there are any software license implications when moving existing workloads to the cloud. There may be significant software license costs when scaling your cloud footprint.

Ideally, you should tackle this question in a cross-organizational team, ensuring you have a non-negotiable list of technical requirements with buy-in from every department needed.

2. Does it match my business needs and objectives?

Innovation is hampered without smart integration.

If you’re heavily invested in certain tools to run your business, how easy or difficult is it to integrate them with a public cloud provider’s services? Can you leverage any existing knowledge or resources to help these established applications thrive?

Migrating to the cloud allows you to innovate, experiment, and create new experiences for your customers more quickly than ever before. When weighing different public cloud options, consider which provider has the resources and features naturally baked into their offering that’ll help you test and experiment with your goals with the greatest of ease. Beyond analyzing the offering itself, it’s equally beneficial to ask yourself if the provider’s own business objectives align with yours from an innovation and value perspective.

With the global reach of major cloud providers there’s a perception, by some, that physical proximity doesn’t apply. Location, however, is something that needs consideration.

What market do you want to target? Will users be engaging with your infrastructure from an evenly-spread population across Central Asia, or is the bulk of your market within Canada? Again, it may seem counterintuitive in a public cloud discussion, but location can be an important deciding factor, especially if there are data residency and privacy requirements. Multiple countries have, for example, enacted laws restricting corporations from storing data outside their country’s physical borders.

3. What does your future technology roadmap/customer journey look like?

The concept of pinpointing the public cloud(s) you will use to support your business should set the stage for several big-picture discussions. The ideal cloud provider has a roadmap that aligns with your long-term goals.

Technology Roadmap Example Questions:

  • Do you envision adding a lot of new, innovative features? This not only includes flashy front-end updates, but also backend architecture strategies such as Headless Ecommerce.
  • Do you plan on expanding into micro services? If your goal is to implement Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) solutions in the future for instance, you might want to evaluate cloud offerings within that content exclusively, regardless of how far down the road it may seem now.
  • What kind of role will artificial intelligence play in your technology roadmap? Which provider would best suits your needs in this burgeoning area?

It Might Be Worth Consulting with a Cloud Expert

With so many cloud options to consider (over a dozen and counting), how do you decide? We’re doing our part here at Tenzing to develop dynamic transformational tools to make the transition a less bumpy ride. Our managed service experts have developed new tools to neutralize the technological differences among various cloud offerings and allow you to see your cloud decision through a lens of customization and possibility.

Tenzing has developed Atmosphere, a platform that allows businesses to test, deploy and manage applications in the cloud faster than ever before.

Migrating your workloads to the public cloud is a significant leap forward in strategy. It marks a transition to a whole new, better version of your company. Taking an in-depth, detailed approach ensures you’re laying the right groundwork.

Click HERE to learn more about Tenzing’s NEW Atmosphere and work with one of our consultants to evaluate your cloud readiness.

Hin Jang

Senior Solutions Architect at Tenzing
Hin Jang has more than 17 years of progressive experience in the IT industry and is an AWS Certified Solutions Architect. He also has significant experience providing client-facing design and delivery training.