In as much as you needed a killer idea, genuine efforts and skills to develop your own business app, equally, you also require a platform that provides a stable and reliable environment. The success of an app is much more than just developing and deploying; it also needs to be effectively hosted so that it is readily available for everyone to download.
Application hosting is software as a service (SaaS) solution that allows operating an application via the cloud. In other words, it basically provides an operational platform for virtually any type of software that can be accessed from a remote server from anywhere at any time.
Moving your business operations to the cloud these days is an attractive proposition since it streamlines your workflow, making it easily manageable. In addition to that, it completely eliminates the need to engage highly paid IT professionals, thereby cutting operational costs. By doing this, you can focus more sharply on your business while the cloud-based service can deal with all the complex issues such as maintenance, security, support and backup. So when you are seeking the best host, make sure it gives you virtual servers, choice of operating systems, dedicated resources, and more hands-on management.
Here are a few tips that can help you find the right app hosting provider within your budget:
1. Take care of app storage requirements
The first thing you need to look into is the storage part of your app since it could be a tricky affair. So you need to incorporate a just-in-time approach. In other words, you should better ask your provider to customize your storage requirements. That is, work out first as to how much storage you are going to need for the initial few years. In addition to that, you need to figure out how much additional space is needed each year. Second, categorize your app storage requirement into storage area network and network attached storage. Third, calculate how much business continuance volume would be required. Lastly, you have to make arrangements to archive your data over time.
Data security is one of the key factors that every business is most concerned about when they plan to move to the cloud because there are apprehensions about storing critical data in it. The best app hosting provider therefore should be able to keep your data safe on a continuous basis. It should use measures like firewall, antivirus detection, data encryption and others. 128 bit encryption is the minimum requirement, especially in today’s environment, which is also utilized by major banking companies. A key of this length is sufficient to prevent decipherment by using random algorithms. Your app hosting provider should also automatically back up data as soon as it is entered to help prevent downtime, which is also referred to as “live mirroring of data”.
3. Disaster management and backup services
Any software application needs backup; you also need to define what is expected to be backed up in your app, and how often. Once you have determined that, you need to include data files, databases and BCVs. It is also important to know how quickly you expect your data file to get restored. Furthermore, in the event of a disaster, it is reassuring to know that your app hosting provider is sending the data to an off-site location. In such a situation, you need to ask two cardinal questions:
- What’s possibly going to happen when there is a disaster and the data center is not responding?
- Do you have a continuity of operations plan?
The chosen cloud should serve the function of a reliable platform as your deployed app can be rolled back any time to a previous snapshot or a specific version. The cloud should be able to consolidate data from your app and various other resources to provide actionable insights on app performance and improvements. Not only that, the provider should help generate traffic info and build customized reports to analyze app goals as well as increase app efficiency.
5. Integration and synchronization
While your app is to be stored on the hosting server, the data is only available to the authorized users once they are logged in. But you also need to make sure that the hosting should provide an integrated solution to any system, more specifically to your backend applications such as CRM or ERP systems. A good example of this is when you select hosting for your FileMaker database, you can easily minimize changes to your back-end infrastructure. In the event of communicating via your mobile app, you need to synchronize the data between accounting, invoicing, CRM email, e-commerce and other apps, saving time and energy.
Although there are many advantages of taking your app to the cloud, from a financial point of view, you have to make a few research efforts at your end regarding the hosting provider. Following the above-mentioned tips will impact your app’s productivity and efficiency.