Instead of mega clouds, small and medium businesses have a simpler and more affordable option with an alternative cloud, which takes care of their needs better.
In recent months, many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in India have invested in cloud computing, security tools, and process automation in order to maintain business continuity and hasten recovery from the hardships caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.
Indeed, the silver lining’ of the pandemic for these SMBs is that they are much further down the road towards digital transformation than they would have been had the pandemic not forced their hand.
Those SMBs at the cusp of digital transformation have a distinct advantage in the marketplace of today and tomorrow because they are far better equipped to serve socially distanced customers who increasingly require a digital-first customer experience.
Fortunately, the timing for moving to the cloud couldn’t be better. For the first time in the 12-year history of cloud computing, SMBs have a wide array of choices for cloud computing services. With the rise of alternative cloud providers, the choices are no longer limited to the mammoth, hyper-scale cloud firms. Here are five reasons SMBs should strongly consider alternative cloud providers for their cloud services:
The cost savings from using an alternative cloud provider versus a mega cloud provider can be up to 50% annually, even though the technology and global networks which handle the workflow of data are essentially the same. Furthermore, in contrast to the infamously complex pricing schemes of mega cloud providers, many alternative cloud providers offer transparent pricing that is straightforward with no surprises. For companies shifting from a Capex to an Opex model, having a clear line of sight into costs is the key.
No vendor lock-in
Being locked into large proprietary cloud ecosystems has a very real impact on budget and control. It’s easy to get lured into the hundreds of proprietary services that, once engaged, lock you in as well. Companies should avoid lock-in to maintain freedom of choice, optimise costs, and facilitate competitive agility. Linode, for example, gives developers the ability to reuse their code, no matter which clouds provider they choose. Development happens in the open too, with all documentation stored on Github so that it can be improved upon by the community.
Ease of use
While the expectation of the cloud making things simpler is often assumed, it’s not the reality in many cases. Mega cloud providers offer far more services than most SMBs will ever need, which introduces immense complexity in managing cloud services, so much so that hiring certified in-house cloud specialists is often required.
In contrast, alternative cloud providers tend to focus on the core services that companies really need to run their businesses, and they provide simple, intuitive interfaces that ease access and on-demand provisioning. This approach is far better suited to SMBs, which typically have a small technical staff who would rather focus on getting work done than navigating the pitfalls and distractions of too many bells and whistles.
Human-centric customer support
A key differentiator with alternative cloud providers is the level of support and responsiveness they provide in comparison to the mega cloud providers. In fact, some alternative cloud providers offer a live human interface 24×7, irrespective of how big a customer you are.
No dependence at all
A select group of privately owned alternative cloud providers offers SMBs a more subtle but valid advantage over doing business with hyper-scale cloud providers: a shared business ethos.
Alternative cloud providers that are privately owned and 100% independent are free to stick to their business principles, such as loyally, serving their customers rather than catering to the whims of venture capitalists, resolving to never compete with their own customers and partners, and supporting open source technology and open APIs.
Although SMBs today have many alternatives for meeting their cloud objectives, alternative cloud providers are perhaps the best suited to their business. By focusing on core services, alternative cloud providers typically offer SMBs the same or better performance at a much better price than the larger industry players.
Alternative cloud providers also provide the scale and quality of infrastructure needed for most enterprise workloads. More importantly, alternative cloud providers offer SMBs highly responsive customer service and a cloud computing experience that is simple, affordable, and accessible – what cloud computing should be.
By Blair Lyon, VP, Cloud Experience, Linode