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Navigating the Crowded Cloud Market

Cost, tech, service: Which do you value most in a cloud solution?

Whenever you go shopping there are usually a few factors that determine what you buy and what you pass up.

One is obviously money (though we all wish this wasn’t the case). Price can be a deciding factor, but often we will pay a little more for something if it offers measurable value.

Another factor is trust: Do you know what’s being sold? Do you trust who’s selling it? Can you trust that it will fulfill your needs?

The flipside of trust is often chance: Are you willing to take a chance on a new product that will hopefully deliver the same or better results than your tried-and-true choice?

When these lenses are applied to the cloud marketplace, what you’ll discover is that is rarely the case. Some cloud providers differentiate by price, others by scale, others by burgeoning tech, and even other by services layered on top of the technology.

It is widely understood that the technology underlying cloud is commoditized, so from provider to provider, a customer ends up paying for the support, scale, or ease of deployment.

Cloud Market

Cost, tech, service: Which do you value most in a cloud solution?

However, cloud adoption is on the rise and there seems to be no end of available products, from OpenStack, to proprietary APIs like Amazon, to custom built clouds that companies like Logicworks provide.

So how do you know what’s right for your business? The selling period for cloud can last a year or more, and with so many moving parts involved (from the line of business leaders to the technical vetting and approval process), it’s critical to focus on what’s most important to you.

Many businesses will say “cost” and opt for the DIY path. While the cloud tech might be cheaper, the associated HR and vendor costs make this somewhat more complex than the plug and play advertised.

What becomes more apparent is that in this overcrowded marketplace, the level of skill and integration that is required to successfully implement and maintain the kind of cloud that a business needs relies on a customized approach.

No two businesses are alike, but every business can use a smart, consultative partner to help ease the path to value through cloud. In a way, such a partner is part-and-parcel of the overall promise of cloud – helping you manage the infrastructure while freeing up internal IT to focus on revenue generating work.

Thoughts? Let us know on Twitter @CloudGathering.

By Jake Gardner

Image: Flickr/Яick Harris’

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