Hand with ethernet cable connecting into cloud.Cloud computing requirements for SMBs and SMEs,  these tools are giving them the power of a full data center without the need for on-premise management. Public cloud providers, such as Amazon AWS, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, use the internet to offer their computing services. Private cloud services are available as well, though they can be costly. For some, a hybrid cloud model is the best option. Whichever you choose, using a public cloud provider can be a budget-friendly option that provides the added convenience of remote cloud management and integrated security features.

However, not all cloud services are created equal, and it can be difficult to sift through them all to find the best service provider that fits your needs and your budget. Fortunately, there are several expectations businesses should have with any provider they choose, and starting with these can help eliminate companies that fall short. Whether you’re looking into infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or software as a service (SaaS), your expectations should be the same.

1. High-Level Security and Data Privacy

Anytime you consider storing data on the public cloud, privacy and security should be a primary concern. Any cloud provider you consider should offer security features that exceed your own in-house capabilities without charging you for keeping your data safe. Security should be compliant with all applicable laws and should include full backup features with disaster recovery. Reputable companies will allow a thorough examination of their security systems.

2. High-Performance Cloud Computing

Businesses Cloud computing requirements and cloud services will only be as good as their infrastructure allows. Therefore, you should select a company that has the storage systems, data centers, operating systems, and databases to keep up with current standards. An infrastructure that falls below the curve can impact your business operations negatively, making you less competitive in your industry. This also applies to the operation, maintenance, and security of the infrastructure the company has in place.

3. Rapid Deployment of Cloud Computing Services

One of the perks of virtualization is the ability to get your company online quickly. Cloud computing allows businesses to avoid an investment in, and installation of, on-premise hardware and software. Instead, everything should be ready to go, allowing you to resume business processes in a day or two. Time is money, so every day you’re offline without web services is a day you’re missing out on connections with your consumer base. The company you choose should be capable of rapidly deploying your requested services.

4. Transparent Pricing

Most SMB/SMEs operate on a strict budget. Although cloud computing is often suggested as a solution for this, it’s important to note that cloud providers have the potential to overcharge just like any other service provider. To prevent this, choose to work with companies that clearly outline their prices. You should expect no requirements to pay hardware and software licensing fees, and subscription services should be open about their pricing model. Cloud applications should also provide a clear outline of prices with no hidden fees. Reputable companies will be transparent about the costs associated with their cloud services.

5. Configurability

Cloud computing symbol being pressed by a persons hand

Another potential benefit to cloud services is the ability to configure your applications to exactly suit your business needs. Previously, this would require expensive customization, but now many cloud computing services offer the opportunity as part of their service. A healthy catalog of options should be available, allowing you to piece together a robust cloud environment that handles all your company’s processes.

SaaS solutions are designed to offer configurations that meet your company’s unique needs while allowing further configuration for different areas of your business.

6. Included Updates

Another benefit to cloud applications versus licensed software is the ability to update the applications simultaneously, ensuring you always have the latest version available. Traditional software requires automatic or manual updates for security purposes, but updates that offer new features have customarily often required a purchase. Any company you choose for your cloud applications should offer upgrades at no charge, guaranteeing all customers can remain competitive. Technically, software that’s hosted by the application vendor but requires customers to purchase upgrades is not classified as a cloud application. Having vendors handle the upgrades of their own software reduces the margin of error by business owners who may not have the skills or staff necessary to manage the upgrade themselves. For this, we recommend you get cloud service solutions. 

7. Multi-Tenancy Cloud Computing Requirements

Multi-tenant cloud architecture improves many of the issues found with its single-tenant counterpart. In a single-tenant setup, a customer is solely hosted by a server, giving them complete control over elements such as data and security. Multi-tenant cloud computing allows several customers to share servers but have access only to their private space based on the permissions set. Customers who choose a multi-tenant option get the benefit of a greater variety of resources that don’t hinder privacy or security features, a greater share of cloud storage, and easier accessibility from multiple devices or locations. This also allows application upgrades to be sent to all relevant users at once, ensuring no one has a disadvantage due to outdated software. An added bonus is the positive impact on the environment. Choosing to share servers reduces the drain on physical resources while increasing access to computing resources.

8. Seamless Integration Assistance

Integration should be a key service offered by any cloud service provider you consider. If you’re making the transition to cloud infrastructure but already have existing infrastructure in place, assistance with seamless integration should be offered. This will allow your SMB/SME a transition into your desired computing model with minimal loss to functionality. Companies that share the burden of integration will likely have similar systems in place when you decide to upgrade your configuration, providing scalability of their service as well. For small businesses, this assistance can help them avoid the hassle of hiring private IT support specialists and making costly mistakes attempting to integrate on their own.