When cloud computing technology first became scalable for businesses, competition was stiff, as all of the top tech providers, and numerous commercial and enterprise companies, were vying to become the go-to cloud tech provider. However, the market eventually elevated Amazon, Microsoft, and Google (News - Alert) to the top of the ranks of cloud tech providers.
These brands continue to dominate by offering the top cloud computing technology options available. Today, business executives realize the real challenge they face when it comes to the cloud is figuring out which one of these providers best meets their needs before investing in the tech.
When investing for the first time in paid cloud computing technology or deciding to scale up from your current cloud offerings, business owners must invest their money, time, and talent in the right provider or risk making a costly and disastrous mistake. But how can you identify which of the top three cloud computing providers is best for your business?
Here’s a look at the distinguishing features of the top three enterprise cloud computing providers to help you make the right choice, and the roles you’ll need to hire to take full advantage of this technology.
Amazon Web Services
The biggest and most popular of the enterprise cloud computing providers is Amazon, which offers Amazon Web Services.
Amazon was one of the first major providers to develop cloud computing technologies back in 2006. Due to this, AWS is now widely viewed as one of the most reliable and successful cloud computing entities.
Initially used by smaller businesses as an inexpensive way to test apps or run websites, AWS is now utilized by major names like Netflix and Slack, which have transformed their smaller, innovative apps into core elements of their businesses. These businesses continue to run through AWS.
Once able to build the platform through the revenue provided by these initial app developers, AWS transformed into a core cloud computing provider with more enterprise features, higher-performance services and enhanced security. These new services attracted a variety of large businesses, such as Capital One (News - Alert) and the Central Intelligence Agency, which utilize the service for their computing infrastructure and to meet their enhanced security needs.
Since AWS is the go-to choice for the CIA, a government entity that requires unparalleled security when it comes to data and research, and app-intensive companies like Netflix, it's clear that businesses with prioritized security and app-intensive needs should invest in this cloud computing provider.
Microsoft (News - Alert) Azure
While the security and app-intensive features offered by AWS are difficult to beat, the closest competitor is Microsoft's Azure. This cloud computing technology was first introduced back in 2010 and has been greatly enhanced in the years since.
One of the major reasons businesses choose Azure over other offerings is because the technology is optimized for applications built in the .NET programming run time. This is what Windows programming has used for over a decade, making it as easy as possible for developers to transfer Windows apps to the Azure cloud seamlessly.
Since a majority of larger corporations opt to have their employees operate on Microsoft hardware and Windows software over Apple (News - Alert) products, it makes sense for them to invest in cloud computing technology that provides the easiest transference of their current Microsoft-driven data, apps, and databases. Due to this, Azure now boasts more than 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies that utilize the service, and that audience continues to grow, according to Microsoft's data.
If your business uses Microsoft hardware and software primarily, and your top priorities when it comes to cloud computing tech are compatibility and ease of use for your employees, then Azure is the best cloud option for you.
Microsoft also offers businesses steep discounts to continue using Microsoft software, which adds additional incentive for businesses already utilizing Microsoft software to try out Azure as well. However, the continuous price war between the cloud computing technologies listed here means the lowest priced technology often fluctuates week to week, so pricing is a difficult factor to use as a differentiator between providers.
Google Cloud Platform
While it may be one of the newer cloud computing providers to the game, Google developed the successful Google Cloud Platform to compete with the services provided by AWS initially, and now Azure as well.
Regarding services, the Google Cloud Platform offers comparable offerings to the two other providers in the cloud computing industry. However, it's Google's status as an innovator that entices businesses from all sectors into utilizing this technology. The tech giant constantly adds new features and increases capacity to its cloud, which is a major selling point for tech, app, or data-driven businesses that strive to be innovative and ahead of the curve in every aspect.
Consistently known to embrace open source philosophy, many tech-driven businesses and professionals trust Google more than Microsoft and often prefer to invest in Google's resources rather than Microsoft's because of it. Additionally, some businesses choose this cloud computing provider over others due to its Android (News - Alert) compatibility, which allows Android apps to be easily transferred to the cloud. Along with that, businesses that rely on Google's various applications find the Google Cloud Platform to be more intuitive and user friendly for their employees, since they are already familiar navigating things like Gmail, Drive, Hangouts, Docs, and more.
While initially available from a variety of providers, cloud computing technology is now primarily sourced from these three providers for business needs. To identify which cloud computing provider is worth the investment, business owners must align business needs with the strengths of these platforms to see what offering best incorporates those prioritized needs.
However, this is only the first step in the process of implementing a new cloud computing technology at your business. To ensure successful ROI for the provider you select, your business must have the resources and expertise needed to fully utilize the cloud technology you’ve chosen. That means you’ll need to onboard specific roles to your tech team to effectively implement the desired cloud technology.
To take full advantage of the cloud computing technology your business chooses, it’s best practice to onboard a management or executive-level role to oversee the implementation of the cloud and manage any problems or updates as needed. In addition, businesses should hire a tech team member who specializes in the cloud technology chosen and thus knows better than anyone how to best utilize it for your business needs.
So what are a few of the roles will you need to add to your tech team to successfully implement this technology and generate ROI? For each cloud provider, there are specific developer roles created to assist businesses with their chosen technology, like an AWS developer or Azure developer. More general management and executive-level roles that help develop, manage, and ensure the effectiveness of your business' cloud technology are the vice president of cloud services or cloud engineer roles.
Gianna Scorsone is the vice president of digital marketing and sales operations for digital marketing and technology resourcing provider Mondo.
Edited by Alicia Young