In a post-pandemic world, the ability to trust the services you rely on remotely is essential and this remains true for where your application and IT stack lives. Your software and the infrastructure needed to run it are mission-critical assets that need to be maintained, protected and supported for all eventualities, whether cyber threats, natural disasters or any other disruption. Modern technology has opened up the possibilities for where your systems are hosted, allowing you to choose between remaining on-premise, migrating to the cloud or any hybrid of the two.
What is a Cloud Service Provider?
A cloud service provider, or CSP, is a third-party company that provides remote hosting as a service. Typically following the ‘pay-as-you-go’ model, providers deliver a cheaper and more effective solution to cloud computing rather than having an onsite datacenter. This means that you only pay for the resources you use, and every dollar spent can be directly allocated to something. They also eliminate the need for a large IT team on the payroll, as a cloud service provider will have their own dedicated team which is included in the package. Switching to a CSP is the next step to bring your company into the modern world.
What Makes a Good CSP?
As there are many providers to choose from, you have a multitude of factors to choose from in order to decide which CSP works best for you:
Cost and Services
As mentioned earlier, most CSPs follow a pay-as-you-go model. You want to make sure that you are only paying for the services you actually use, avoiding hidden fees. Make sure that you review the subscription details and sign a contract that is flexible and reasonable for your business. A CSP can provide software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS). All of these should be researched to see if they could help your company and determine if they should be included in your payment plan. Additionally, certain CSPs offer a three-year contract, which might be too rigid for an evolving business, so consider the timeframe before deciding your provider.
One of the biggest risks in the modern workforce is maintaining data security. SWK offers Secure Cloud Hosting (SCH) which includes a team of cybersecurity experts who will monitor and protect your data, in addition to the other benefits of having a cloud service provider. This is especially ideal for small to medium-sized businesses as having a dedicated internal security team is often too expensive. With the SCH option, data protection and disaster recovery are placed as a top priority to any company looking to switch to a CSP.
Challenges to Look Out for With CSPs
When finding your own CSP, try and look out for these common challenges which can typically face the average consumer:
- Unexpected charges: A CSP may charge you for a multitude of unexpected reasons. Accidentally using more data than agreed upon, terminating old computers or servers, and additional hires could all end up costing your company more than planned upon.
- Transfer Time: Depending on the amount of data which needs to be transferred to the cloud, the process may take months at a time. Make sure that this is accounted for when switching over to a cloud service provider. Expenses may pile up if the transfer takes too long.
- Trust in Provider: If your provider is not honest and transparent with you, a multitude of risks can occur. First, an outage on the providers end means that you will not have access to your data. Knowing your providers level of security is crucial in order to comprehend the risks involved with transferring over to a CSP. Additionally, knowing that the provider has your companies’ best interest as their top priority, as opposed to simply making a profit, will ensure that your move to a cloud service provider will be the right one.
So, Why Use a Cloud Service Provider?
While cutting costs on hardware, databases, employees, servers and software licenses is nice, it is not the only reason to use a CSP. Cloud service providers offer 99% uptime for your data throughout the year, and all managed through an external team. They are easily scaled to fit both large and small businesses which offers a large variety of services to choose from. Automatic updates means that you spend less time waiting for IT to update your software, OS, or databases and more time focusing on more pressing issues. Cloud computing has exploded over the last few years, and switching over as soon as possible is the natural step in a post-pandemic world.
Let SWK Technologies Be Your CSP
Migrating to the cloud brings many benefits as long as you choose the right partner to host your mission-critical systems. Reach out to SWK Technologies today to discover the value-add of hosting your ERP and business management software with us as your CSP.
Contact SWK today to learn more about our value-add as a cloud service provider for your ERP software critical IT infrastructure.