With so much to consider, picking a cloud hosting provider suitable for your business needs can be challenging. While many business offer similar technical solutions, it’s often the commercial decisions that have a greater impact on the suitability of a cloud service provider for your business. Thinking about who owns the cloud platform, where the data is stored and the type of supplier you’ll be dealing with might just be as important as the technical backbone, especially long term.
Within the cloud hosting market, there are a couple of hard hitters – namely Amazon and Microsoft – who monopolise the market. They both own data centres across the globe, and have vast customer bases ranging from enterprise businesses to SMEs. For many, these are the only types of provider that can be trusted. Their infrastructure is so vast, and is supported by intelligent technology that for them it’s a no brainer to get on board. However, these features are overshadowed by one major drawback. The technology is proprietary. It’s incompatible with other services and solutions, which means you’re locked in to that specific vendor’s solution. Migrating between service providers is a complex procedure at the best of times, and inflexible clouds such as AWS and Azure penalise businesses looking to migrate by making the procedure extremely expensive and cumbersome.
In contrast, technology independent hosting providers offer greater flexibility and creativity, and keep costs lower in the long run. While this may not be as vital for large enterprises, it’s a breath of fresh air for SMEs.
As the EU tightens laws and regulations around the storage and use of data, thinking about the locality of your prospective cloud provider is particularly important. Safe Harbor, the 15 year old agreement that allowed US cloud services providers to operate in Europe (and handle data out of Europe) has recently been struck down by the European high court. A replacement agreement is yet to be agreed, but those who rely on the Safe Harbor ruling will no doubt be affected. It’s changes in legislation such as this that mean that picking a local cloud provider is a safer bet for UK businesses.
Keeping data secure and compliant is extremely important for any business. Data sovereignty is best guaranteed by storing your data in the country where you operate. A new EU Data Protection law is pending that will put the pressure on businesses that own data on EU citizens to ensure their data is compliant. This law applies across the world, and will affect anybody who has EU data, regardless of where they operate. Making sure your data will be just as compliant in five years as it is now should be key to your decision.
While technological capabilities of a cloud hosting provider are of course extremely important, commercial decisions such as the ones highlighted above are not to be taken lightly. There are many other reasons to consider when picking the cloud provider for your business, so make sure you take the time required and come to the best decision. Ultimately, if you look for a provider who appreciates what you’re trying to accomplish from your investment, and can fully support those requirements whilst remaining data and security compliant, you’re on the right track.
Hosting Techniques Ltd provides sophisticated UK based hosting solutions to businesses for online applications, databases, remote desktops and staging server environments where resiliency, support and personal service is of the utmost importance.
Call 01189 241 216 to speak to an expert and discuss how HTL can help to support and improve our business now.