In today's IT market, a huge number of new cloud computing providers are starting up, and traditional IT providers have broadened their offerings by adding cloud computing services to their proven business models.
For you as an end user, it can quickly become overwhelming to try to find the best solution for your needs in this enormous range of services and partners you can choose from. There are big differences in pricing, service levels, guarantees, helpdesk, security and other aspects.
To help you to make the right choice for your business, let us give you some arguments why you should choose for a local, Belgian cloud provider.
1. Personalization & flexibility
A lot of cloud computing providers are using a 100% online business model, where you can do your shopping in their catalog, activate an account and then dispose of a certain type of cloud computing power (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, ...). Most of the time, this type of services is very cost-effective, not to use the word cheap. This type of services seams really attractive: simple, straight-forward, what you see is what you get.
The disadvantage of this approach resides in the fact that this type of cloud solutions can be categorized as an "unmanaged cloud". By "unmanaged" we understand that the cloud provider does not offer any analysis, personalisation or support services. They offer certain types of solutions and you have to deal with them, out of the box. Also, in case of questions or troubles, there might be some kind of FAQ section on their website, but there won't be a real support service at your disposal. In case you choose for this type of unmanaged cloud solutions, you should be aware that you will need sufficient internal resources to compose your solution with the building blocks you will receive. Your final TCO for this type of solution can end up a lot more expensive than a more specialized approach.
When you choose a Belgian partner, you will have a lot more chances to have the possibility of contacting them personally. This way you can reassure yourself about the capabilities and service levels the company is ready to offer. Also, it will be much easier to make yourself an impression of the company, their competencies and the guarantees they can offer.
Proximity? Why would you need proximity? Well... even in the cloud computing era, you will sometimes have a question, or even a problem (downtimes, ...). In that case, a local partner in Belgium, that speaks your own language and that is available within your own, normal business hours, will be worth the extra spend.
3. Legal security
Everybody knows about the famous American "Patriot Act" which can give the US government access to data stored on servers of American providers. If you consider that your data are your own, and you don't want any third party to access them, you should avoid choosing a cloud provider which has servers in the USA. By choosing a Belgian, local cloud partner, that hosts its datacenter in Belgium, you know that - in case of any conflict - the Belgian laws will be applicable.
Choosing a cloud solution will have a long-term impact on your IT infrastructure. You will have to do some efforts to configure the cloud solution, migrate the data and so on. After this effort, you will probably keep on working with this provider for a relatively long period. Hence, it is absolutely crucial to make the right choice. Your cloud provider will become a long-term partner for your company. A Belgian company is the best guarantee for a partner who knows our Belgian business environment and who will perfectly understand your particular needs.
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