Recent years have seen many businesses shift to cloud-based services and solutions. With the potential to provide cost savings, streamline operations, give remote workers easy access to files and software and promote better cooperation and communication among teams—and more—cloud-based services can be game-changing tools for many organizations.
There are myriad cloud-based services available that can help companies cover everything from project management to customer service, as well as tools and strategies to maximize the benefit of cloud services while minimizing their costs. Below, 16 members of Forbes Technology Council discuss cloud-based services and strategies every organization should consider, including some specific tools they rely on themselves.
1. A Multicloud Strategy
With the rising demand for all cloud services, every tech department must use a multicloud strategy to optimize its cloud computing capabilities. Employing a multicloud strategy enables enterprises to take advantage of the various capabilities and features offered by each provider at a lower cost and to reduce overall cloud infrastructure costs. – Ankush Sabharwal, CoRover
2. A File-Sharing Service
I think that one of the most productive strategies for a business is taking advantage of the ability to share files in real time. Services such as Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox and others are great productivity solutions for teams, allowing them to easily manage and share their files. – Ofer Lidsky, Excellent Brain Ltd.
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3. A Backup Solution
Having a cloud-based backup solution is essential for modern business success. Data is the lifeline of any organization; having a tailored backup strategy allows tech departments to properly store and protect their most valuable asset. It also promotes business resiliency in the event of a disruption or disaster, which has become a nonnegotiable for customers in today’s digitally reliant world. – Ryan Mallory, Flexential
4. A Cost-Management Solution
Cloud bills are a hot topic this year, and cloud-based cost-management solutions have become a must-have. Such a solution provides the visibility teams need to understand their cost allocations better and identify any usage anomalies that are leading to cost spikes. It also opens the door to optimizing cloud resource usage for cost efficiency by delivering recommendations or applying fixes automatically. – Laurent Gil, CAST AI
5. An API Gateway
While it’s probably true that there’s no one cloud service that’s right for everyone, everyone should probably be using an API gateway with a serverless service, even if it is not for at-scale production use cases. This is an interesting litmus test of whether your team is ready to adopt major architectural changes in its software. -Matthew Wallace, Faction, Inc.
6. Project-Management Tools
Cloud-based project-management tools allow teams to collaborate and manage projects remotely and often include features such as task tracking, document management and real-time communication. They are beneficial for tracking progress, identifying bottlenecks and staying organized, which can help to improve efficiency and productivity. Notion and Asana are our go-to solutions. – Iman Bashir, Craftly.AI
Gong.io has become a must-have tool in the modern tech stack. The platform provides insights and guidance by recording interactions with customers, which can be extremely helpful in measuring impact, improving training and team performance and staying close to customers. With deep visibility into customer relationships, all departments can learn and iterate on processes to help your business succeed. – Rujul Zaparde, Zip
8. IdevP As A Service
Every CIO focuses on building an internal developer platform to overcome the complexity of cloud-native technologies and enforce governance for autonomous development teams. As a result, platform engineers are building IdevPs by utilizing cloud capabilities. However, this is a time-consuming and never-ending exercise. Therefore, IdevP as a service is an essential cloud offering. – Asanka Abeysinghe, WSO2, Inc.
Notion is a vital asset for managing projects, and this may be particularly true for tech teams. Unlike other project-management and note-taking apps, Notion has a minimal, intuitive user interface that seems to vindicate the old adage “a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind.” While the colorful user interfaces of other popular apps may be pretty to look at, they maximize the potential for distraction. – Arnie Gordon, Arlyn Scales
10. A Software As A Service Cost Tracker And Calculator
As more companies expand their cloud presence, the tech department needs to provide visibility into the costs of the cloud. One area that can escape focus is the cost of SaaS-based applications. Leveraging a cloud-based tool that identifies SaaS usage in an organization can help drive cost savings. These tools can identify potential volume discounts, unused licenses and duplicative services. – Jeffrey Ton, InterVision
11. Container Services
Modern applications should make the most of the container services that are offered by Google Cloud, AWS and all the other major providers. Containers make it easier and less risky for your software engineers to maintain and improve your applications. That will lead to a significantly reduced cost of ownership while providing your customers with a robust software product. – Tim Maliyil, AlertBoot
12. A Global API Availability Monitor
We use services that monitor the availability of our APIs from different geo-segments of the internet. From time to time, global network segments go down, and even when one part of the world has access to an API, another part of the world may not. Monitoring services allow us to proactively address issues and inform consumers about problems before they need to reach out to us. -Pavlo Sidelov, SDK.finance
13. Storage Deduplication
Before cloud storage, we hoarded backup tapes of storage volumes in safe facilities. With cloud storage now available, we hoard data that is not necessary or is duplicated multiple times across the business. Cloud storage is pivotal to business continuity, but it comes at a significant cost. Storage deduplication is therefore the key service that every tech department should leverage to reduce costs. – Mark Brown, British Standards Institution (BSI)
14. Identity And Access Management Services
Cloud-based identity and access management services—such as those that facilitate single-sign-on, enable multifactor authentication or provide traditional directory services—are imperative for managing users across public or private clouds. With a centralized portal for managing identities, organizations can better secure and monitor user access throughout any cloud environment. – Mike Lefebvre, SEI
15. A Software Version-Tracking System
A cloud-based version-tracking system for software development, such as GitHub, is a force multiplier for engineering teams. By enabling a distributed group of developers to simultaneously build different modules within a complex software project, review and approve changes, and coordinate updates, such a system provides the glue that enables the team to work effectively. – William Bain, ScaleOut Software, Inc.
16. A CRM Platform
One cloud-based service that every tech department should be using is a customer relationship management platform. These platforms streamline data management and customer interactions, making it easier to manage customer relationships. They can also be used to track customer orders and support requests and automate customer service processes. – Fabio Moioli, Spencer Stuart
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