The days of purchasing IT hardware and software licenses upfront are long gone. Cloud marketplaces have transformed the way companies obtain business technology at scale. Access to cloud services can now be metered, user-based, or function-based; depending on the transaction model set by each cloud marketplace.
Companies find themselves with access to more powerful tools than ever before, and the advent of cloud marketplaces has given companies access to the technology they might not have had otherwise.
What Are Cloud Marketplaces?
There are many different names used to describe this new method for purchasing cloud services, depending on what marketplace you’re using. Some of the most common names include:
· Public Cloud Marketplaces (e.g., Amazon Web Services Marketplace)
· Private Cloud Marketplaces (e.g., OpenStack)
· Partner Ecosystems (e.g., Oracle Cloud Marketplace)
Whether you’re purchasing public, private, or partner cloud services, the benefits are ultimately the same. Cloud marketplaces provide the user with a simple way to compare and contrast cloud service providers that meet specific needs. This includes everything from storage capabilities to processing power.
With the exception of partner ecosystems, cloud marketplaces provide a way for users to quickly and easily compare similar products from multiple providers. This includes services such as databases, servers, storage capacity, and application programming interfaces (APIs).
When a large number of companies contribute their products to a marketplace, it can be difficult for individual companies to be found. That’s why many cloud marketplaces show low pricing and other information that may help the user quickly identify a product that meets their needs.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Marketplaces
The benefits of using a public, private, or partner ecosystem cloud marketplace include:
· Allows users to make quick comparisons between similar products from different providers
· No need to individually negotiate service agreements with each provider, as the terms and conditions are already set by the marketplace
· Cloud marketplaces can help users easily identify new services that meet their needs, even if those needs change over time
Although using a cloud marketplace has many advantages, there are also some distinct disadvantages, including:
· The cloud marketplace may dictate the terms and conditions of an agreement with a provider. This could potentially remove any leverage a user has when negotiating a service contract.
· It can be difficult to customize a product in a way that’s compatible with a marketplace. If you’re not satisfied with the marketplace’s product, you may not be able to work with a company directly.
How to Choose the Right Cloud Marketplace for Your Business
Most cloud marketplaces have very similar practices and policies, but there are still some key differences between them. To select which marketplace is right for your business:
· Start by examining your own technology needs. Are you starting from scratch? If so, consider a marketplace that offers preapproved vendors and provides easy comparisons between products.
· If your business has already invested in other technology platforms, you may want to choose a smaller marketplace with fewer options or if your platform is proprietary, like Oracle’s Partner Ecosystem. This will help ensure your platform is compatible with the marketplace you choose.
· You should also pay attention to who contributes to the marketplaces. It’s important that these companies are reputable, so be sure to read reviews and investigate each provider before you buy. The last thing you want is for your business’ data to fall into the wrong hands.
The Best Practices for Using a Cloud Marketplace
There are several best practices that can help you get the most of out your cloud marketplace:
· Always thoroughly read and understand the terms and conditions of any agreements with a provider before you sign on the dotted line. These terms and conditions may vary depending on who’s using the marketplace.
· If you’re using a marketplace with multiple providers, don’t sign an agreement with one company before you’ve read the fine print of all the agreements in place. This is because if your needs change or evolve, it may provide fewer benefits to remain locked into a service contract with only one provider.
Why You Should Consider Utilizing Multiple Cloud Marketplaces
One cloud marketplace may not have the products you need.
If so, consider using multiple marketplaces.
Although this can add to your administrative work, unless you hire a company such as Tackle.io, it will more than likely give you higher quality products and a better overall experience with your chosen vendors.
It’s also important to note that many companies provide discounts for using multiple marketplaces. This can be especially useful if you have an international presence, as it allows you to maintain agreements with marketplaces in different regions at once.
Things to Keep in Mind When Considering a Cloud Marketplace
When considering which marketplace is right for your business, keep the following tips in mind:
· Although some cloud marketplaces are free, many have associated fees. Be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions of your agreement to understand how much you’ll be paying each month or year.
· You should also pay attention to who owns the marketplace. It’s important that these companies are reputable, so be sure to read reviews and investigate each provider before you buy. The last thing you want is for your business’ data to fall into the wrong hands.
As a final note, remember that no marketplace is perfect. You should look at each platform as a chance to improve your company’s technology capabilities instead of putting all your eggs in one basket.
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