Nick LaPalomento: Hey, welcome to another Tech Talk. I’m Nick. I’m joined again by Chad. He’s our Chief Information Officer here at Aldridge. Today we’re going to be talking about cloud providers. There’s a lot of options out there. I’m hoping that we can demystify it a little bit for you, and also help you make a good informed decision as you go to choose the provider of your choice.
Let’s talk about the differences between some of the main options out there. I’m sure there’s a lot of names that people have heard, but I know Amazon Web Services is large. You’ve also got Microsoft Azure. You’ve got, you know, people have private cloud. Let’s talk about some of the differences that a client would be able to make choices between.
Chad Hiatt: Well, it’s important when you’re thinking about cloud providers to not be thinking about a name or a particular technology that’s out there. It’s really what is it going to do for you. How are you going to utilize it? To that end, there’s really several different types of cloud provider out there, even though they all are in the same space. They’re all cloud providers. They don’t all do and offer the exact same thing.
We try to look at what are we trying to accomplish? Towards that end, people like Amazon, Microsoft, even Google to some extent, will offer server hosting or services hosting. If you really want to run your own servers that makes a lot of sense. For some applications that’s really what’s required, but we’re finding that more and more people are shifting to utilizing software from the cloud. That’s more a matter of saying, “I need to subscribe to email services or I need to subscribe to file services like Microsoft SharePoint.”
Overall, within the industry we’re seeing more and more businesses adopting the Microsoft Cloud on that. Microsoft offers a service specifically like the Office 365 products, but it’s really about choosing the right mix for what the business is trying to accomplish.
Nick: When a business is looking to make a choice between these providers, what are some of the questions that they should be asking themselves, or what should they be using as a decision?
Chad: You want to be thinking about who’s got the industry-leading solutions within particular categories that you most want to take advantage of, but you also want to think about the robustness of the ecosystem around it. How many other products do they have that you could potentially grow to that they can tie in without you then having solution over here and solution over here that don’t necessarily talk?
Nick: One of the things that you hinted out was this idea of a private cloud or not using one of the large ones like Amazon, or like Azure, but maybe using an IT company’s private cloud. Would we recommend that to any of our clients?
Chad: I would have a hard time recommending private cloud for most cases today because it really locks you in to a particular solution. You lose the portability and you lose the ability to select best of breed and to have more components to add in around that solution that you started with.
Nick: How would Aldridge help clients choose the right provider for them?
Chad: The conversation always starts with what’s the business in? What are we trying to do? What’s the landscape look like today? From that we’ve even gone through and itemized out, let’s look at all the types of things we’re looking to accomplish. Let’s consider what it would look like if we ran it on premise or what would it look like if we ran it in software as a service? If we could subscribe to these products or what would it look like if we ran full servers in something like the Microsoft Cloud?
You really have to look at it and say, “What’s my experience going to be with each of those solutions? How do they work together?” Then, “What are my implementation, my monthly operating costs and my long-term total cost of ownership?” At that point, we can really have an informed conversation to make some business level decisions, thinking about three, four years down the road.
Nick: A client would actually be working with somebody that’s been assigned to help them make these types of decisions.
Chad: Certainly, our clients that are engaged with us usually are working with their CIO for this. The CIO role within Aldridge is really about the longer term strategy. When you’re talking about where are we going to commit resources, what are we going to subscribe to? How are all these things going to work together? That really is a CIO level conversation because the CIO is tasked with taking what you’ve expressed to me as your business initiatives for the years ahead and making sure that we’re coming to you with the right IT solutions that are aligned to support that because we have the responsibility to make sure they meet the need.
We always supplement that with a backup solution, because we’re really not just looking to say, “I need to turn the server back online to how it was when the cloud provider had an issue. I want to turn it back online to the point where it was a week ago because I recognize that there was some problems with the software that maybe it was caused by new installation or something didn’t configure properly, we need to roll it back.” We do have to use third-party solutions or at least a cloud service provider solution for that.
Nick: If you have any questions and you are a client of Aldridge, make sure that you reach out to your CIO as they’re ready and willing to help you. If you’re not a current client of Aldridge and you want more information, feel free to visit our website at www.aldridge.com. We’d love to have a chat with you and see how we can help.
At Aldridge, our team of IT professionals provide your business with the resources it needs to reach its potential. We put customer service first and deliver support and strategic planning that effectively manages your IT. Our approach relives you of the hassle of technology management so you can focus on running your business. Talk to our IT consulting team to learn more about which cloud technology tools are right for you.