Choosing a Cloud Infrastructure Provider – Five Common Mistakes

Cloud infrastructure is paying off for businesses as an efficient and reliable foundation for their operations. However, the choice of the right cloud provider comes with a considerable number of pitfalls and traps into which quite a few companies have walked already. Should solutions be cheap or expensive? US-based or local? With or without managed services? From a brand partner or open source? Those are some key points you should clarify before making your decision.

How Businesses Benefit from Cloud Infrastructure - Five Ways the Cloud can Benefit Businesses

  • Have confidence in reliable and secure IT, and focus on your core business.
  • Benefit from the latest technological innovations.
  • Lower your IT management costs by accessing resources from any location and any device via a dedicated cloud portal.
  • Leverage the wide choice of multi-cloud managed services.
  • One single point of contact for all infrastructure-related issues.

The top five tips for choosing the right cloud provider

  • Do not choose the provider with the cheapest offer.
  • Do not choose the most expensive provider either.
  • Choose a European provider instead of an American one.
  • Keep in mind the advantages of combining cloud infrastructure with managed services.
  • Choose an open source provider to prevent vendor lock-in.

1. What If I Choose the Cheapest Provider?

Some might consider the cheapest provider to be the best option, believing that their choice has brought them the ultimate level of efficiency and outsourcing. With regard to cloud services, however, skimping on quality will soon turn out to be false economy. High-performance infrastructure is crucial – and in this regard, customers will realize soon enough how good a purchase they really made. Comarch's solutions are cheaper than those offered by large providers, but not as cheap as it gets because quality is simply vital for failure-free IT operations. This is why Comarch's cloud infrastructure portfolio includes tried and tested hardware such as Intel processors.

2. What If I Choose the Most Expensive Provider?

Quality is important, but spending large amounts of money just for a big name label contradicts the very keynote of efficiency enhancement. On top of that, the bigger and better-known the provider, the higher the risk that the customer will end up as merely one of many. Comarch, in contrast, is big enough to deliver and, at the same time, small enough to care. The advantage of working with a medium-sized provider is that they fulfill their customers' individual requests and adjust or tailor the project to each one’s specific needs.

3. What If I Choose a US-Based Provider?

Customers of US providers need to take heed of a critical fact: The US CLOUD Act is in stark contrast to the EU GDPR. The "CLOUD" part in the name of this law stands for "Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data.. Since it came into effect in March 2018, the act has obligated US businesses operating data centers in Germany or anywhere else within EU jurisdiction to cooperate with US investigative authorities.  As a consequence, German companies need to choose a German or European data center provider in order to be on the safe side. The Comarch Data Center located in Germany, for instance, is subject to the strict legal requirements set by German and EU law. 

4. What If I Buy Cloud Infrastructure Without Managed Services?

In the course of the last 10 years, the cloud has evolved into a space where data can be shared securely and in real time regardless of the sharers' respective locations, hardware, or tech-savviness. Nevertheless, too many businesses have opted for a bare cloud environment without managed services. What might at first glance seem like a sound economic decision could soon backfire. On the surface, all modern self-service cloud portals appear easy to use – but the devil is in the details. On that note, companies should keep in mind that efficient infrastructure alone does not bring the maximum added value. Having your systems optimally configured, implemented, and managed by proven experts is also crucial in order to achieve this end.

5. Open Source Platform or Renowned Partner – Which is Better?

Big names usually make for a favorable first impression, and often they really do warrant quality – but they come at a price. Businesses will become painfully aware of this upon taking a closer look at the bill. After all, those renowned partners do not render the cloud services themselves, but maintain a contractual relationship with the actual provider. Consequently, if the partner raises the prices, the cloud provider has hardly any choice but to raise the price for their customers in turn. This is why the IT service provider Comarch decided to use open source for its Comarch Infraspace Cloud offer. While this solution has been tried and tested by a significant number of businesses, its price does not depend on any external partners. The dreaded vendor lock-in scenario can therefore be precluded.

6. What Should I Watch out for when Choosing a Cloud Provider?

As cloud providers are thick on the ground, one thing you should do is check their standards, e.g. certificates and the like. Apart from that, you should ascertain whether the provider uses the latest hardware such as advanced processors. The location of the data center is also important. Geographic proximity, for instance, is particularly crucial for sensitive systems as it prevents long latencies. It is also a good idea to find out whether the provider in question offers managed services you can fall back on if needed.

About Comarch ICT

Comarch ICT combines qualified IT experts with many years of experience in the ICT field, along with appropriate technological resources. Moreover, the Comarch Group maintains partnerships with different hardware and software producers worldwide and, as a result, is highly certified and specialized. A full service provider for IT, Comarch's ICT department provides IT infrastructure solutions, cloud services, hosting and outsourcing services, as well as a wide range of services pertaining to the implementation and integration of software solutions. The provider's comprehensive managed services for IBM Power Systems completes the service portfolio. Companies such as Hermes, Valeo and ESO have already placed their trust in Comarch ICT.

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About Comarch

Comarch is a global provider of IT solutions (e.g. ERP, CRM & Marketing, BI, e-Invoicing, ICT, Financials, and Cloud solutions) for small and medium-sized as well as large enterprises, small businesses, banks and insurance companies, telecommunication firms and healthcare providers. The company has more than 6 000 employees working in numerous countries all over the world. Thanks to high investment in research and development, Comarch is able to offer a wide range of innovative IT solutions that are rated highly by customers and analysts.

Author: Klaus Lechner

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