For many businesses — especially startups and small companies — cloud computing sounds extremely appealing.

However, the subtleties of cloud computing and the extent of options are often overlooked or misunderstood. 

When that is the case, it is very easy for a company to make the good strategic decision to go to the cloud, but a bad tactical decision to opt for a cloud solution that doesn’t fit the organization’s needs.

The accompanying resource presents a high-level overview of the six basic choices for cloud environments, and the main advantages and disadvantages of each. As you will see, there is no one-size-fits-all cloud solution. Depending on your needs, one type of environment may be more beneficial than another.

Among the many considerations a company must analyze when selecting a cloud environment are cost, data security, speed, maintenance cost, capital investment, scalability and compliance.

Perhaps the starkest contrast in cloud environments is between public and private clouds. With a private cloud, the company is in complete control, able to manage security, compliance and customization to whatever level is required. However, a private cloud requires investment in hardware, software and highly skilled IT staffers who are often hard to find and hard to keep. A  public cloud, on the other hand, requires minimal investment in hardware, software or maintenance — almost all of that work is done for you. However, with a public cloud, data security, compliance and customization may not be at a sufficiently high level to support your business-critical applications.

Along with the public and private cloud environments are several other options that offer balance, affordability and flexibility to meet the unique application requirements of each company. If your business is very simple (from an IT point of view) with relatively undemanding users, a public cloud or hybrid could be a highly attractive option. Businesses with applications ranging from simple to complex that handle highly sensitive data may be better suited for a multi-cloud or private cloud solution.

Of course, when reviewing your computing requirements, it’s crucial to consider your future needs along with your current ones. Scalability is easier and less expensive to achieve in some environments versus others. If you anticipate a rapid ramp up in revenue, greater regulatory controls or a considerably larger user base, a multi-cloud or hybrid solution may give you much more flexibility than a single cloud environment.

For more insights about cloud environments and their pros and cons, please check out our resource.


About the Author:

The SEO-Alien is a project started in 2009 regarding all things online marketing. The site started out more of a diary of predictions, suggestions and references to things I frequently used for online marketing... before social media marketing was even an option.

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