To the vast majority of people outside of the technology sector, and even to those in IT who don’t work directly with the cloud, cloud-based services are a bit of a mystery. In truth, the cloud is just a re-imagining of the Internet with a focus on providing off-site services to businesses. What buyers need to know about the cloud isn’t so much how it works, but rather how to figure out which particular implementation works best for their particular needs.
Distinguishing between the myriad of cloud options for e-commerce is no easy task. That said, it is essential for a company to make a good in order to get the most bang for its buck, avoid over-paying, and improve its bottom line. Here are a few ways to look at cloud services that may help in the decision-making process.
Focus On Automation
One of the biggest advantages that well-managed cloud services offer is enhanced automation. By taking certain processes out of the hands of humans and turning them over to computers, you can ensure faster, more accurate, more robust results. When it comes to e-commerce, better automation means that your company can process more orders at a faster rate with a higher degree of accuracy than you ever thought possible. Look for cloud services that focus on robust automation.
Cost and Performance
Remember that performance is critical to any e-commerce solution, but don’t confuse high cost with high performance. The IBM AS400 cloud solution, which is 30-70% less expensive than on premise servers, actually offers better performance than most companies could ever hope to achieve by spending vast amounts on their own IT departments. Cloud solutions, because they focus strictly on performance and cost savings, are generally faster, more reliable, and more secure.
There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Approach
Sometimes, choosing a single service provider makes a great deal of sense. At other times, however, having multiple providers for different aspects of your business is a perfect. Even if you already have a cloud solution for database management, payroll, or some other integral system, you may want to look elsewhere for your e-commerce solution.
Proximity does not necessarily equate to performance when it comes to cloud services. More than ever before, the Internet is a global commodity with users accessing it from all over the planet. Proximity no longer matters, cost and performance do.
Watch and Learn
Sometimes you just have to try a product out to determine if it is right for you or not. With cloud services, monitoring performance and the impact of the service on productivity are easy tasks. Don’t neglect monitoring features, even if you think you’ve settled on a service. Monitoring performance doesn’t just provide information about the cloud service itself, it also provides information about your company’s utilization and efficiency. To get the most out of your investment in the cloud, use the tools that are provided to push performance to the razor’s edge.
Lela Watkins manages an e-commerce business. She enjoys sharing her online business insights on the web. Look for her articles mostly on e-commerce websites.
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