How to choose the best offshore cloud services provider
N-iX
2020-07-27T12:14:13+00:00

Cloud computing brings a wide array of benefits, so many businesses choose to migrate their data and applications to the cloud, optimize their infrastructure expenditures using DevOps best practices, build cloud-based big data pipelines, etc. To do so cost-efficiently and tap into cloud computing ex...

How to choose the best offshore cloud services provider

Cloud computing brings a wide array of benefits, so many businesses choose to migrate their data and applications to the cloud, optimize their infrastructure expenditures using DevOps best practices, build cloud-based big data pipelines, etc. To do so cost-efficiently and tap into cloud computing expertise, they are looking for a reliable offshore software development partner. 

However, finding a reliable and experienced offshore development company for cloud computing is a challenging task. Your potential offshore cloud services provider needs to have expertise in DevOps, Microservices Architecture, Data Warehousing, and many more. Also, the company should help you with a deep analysis of your current environment, a detailed plan of migration, choosing the environment that is suitable for your business needs, and finally the migration itself. Another important criterion is an established security policy of the offshore cloud services provider.

In this article, we will view the benefits of cloud computing, the key challenges, and ways to mitigate them. Also, we will provide the steps to choose a reliable development partner and take a look at some success stories of the companies that have benefited from offshore software development and cloud computing. 

offshore cloud services

Benefits of cloud software development

Nearly 90% of companies are using some form of cloud computing. This overwhelming figure comes to no surprise, as the cloud brings a wide array of benefits. Cloud-native apps offer better availability, security, performance, and improved customer experience. So, let’s view these benefits in more detail. 

  1. Cost-optimization

If you opt for cloud-native application development, you pay only for the computing resources you use and eliminate the expenditure on unused resources. So, you do not maintain idle resources in anticipation of a surge. Also, cloud application development offers indirect cost saving due to the enhanced resilience and reduced downtime of apps in the cloud.

  1. Enhanced security

DevSecOps approach is one of the trends in cloud-native application development. Security is integrated into each stage of cloud-native application development to make sure they meet security regulations. What’s more, due to a microservices architecture, cloud-native applications are reliable and have a lower risk of massive failures

  1. Easy management of infrastructure

Cloud-native apps are easier to manage and maintain than traditional monolithic apps. The reason for it is that they consist of individual microservices that can be improved incrementally. Microservices, in turn, allow continuous adding new and improved application features.

  1. Standardization/unification

It is possible to standardize the development of your platform and services by following the 2-factor principles for building applications in the cloud. Containers used in cloud-native applications help unify the deployment and management of apps. What’s more, they facilitate standardization of code deployment, making building workflows for applications that run between on-premises and cloud environments easy. 

  1. Autonomy for developers

Cloud computing allows developers to work on their code independently of other teams that are responsible for other cloud-based services. As a result, they achieve maximum productivity and embrace their potential. 

Cloud-computing expertise your offshore cloud services provider should have:

Your potential offshore cloud services provider should have expertise in: 

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):
  • Software as a Service (SaaS);
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS). 

IaaS provides foundational computing resources, including servers, operating system software, storage, networking infrastructure, data center space. You rent physical IT infrastructure to build your own remote data center on the cloud, rather than building a data center on-premises.

PaaS provides a cloud-based platform to develop, run, and manage applications without the cost, complexity, and inflexibility of building and maintaining on-premises. The PaaS provider hosts servers, networks, storage, operating system software, databases at its data center. 

SaaS is a fully-developed software solution in the cloud, that can be accessed via the web or vendor APIs typically for a fee (monthly or annual). SaaS apps are fully managed by a vendor. The provider is responsible for the application, runtime, middleware, OSes, virtualization, servers, storage, and networking. The client is only in charge of data.

offshore software development cloud computing: examples of Iaas, SaaS, and PaaS. How to benefit from offshore cloud services

  1. Cloud assessment

Sometimes the existing architecture can be incompatible with the cloud. So, your potential offshore cloud services provider should perform a cloud assessment. The more complex the IT architecture of the project is - the more challenging moving to the cloud gets. 

However, it is not impossible: to prepare the architecture for migration, you should find a team of tech professionals that will audit the legacy architecture, resolve tech debt, figure out interdependent parts, and create thorough documentation.

For blending public and private clouds with on-premise assets to create a hybrid environment, you need to redesign your in-house infrastructure. This will minimize inconsistencies and reduce interoperability problems between different systems.

  1. Cloud migration

Cloud migration is closely connected to a range of challenges. Thus, choose the offshore software development cloud computing vendor that has enough capacity and experience to ensure the smooth transition to the cloud, cutting infrastructure costs, and achieving more flexibility. To know more about the cloud migration companies in the world - read the article

DevOps, application transformation, and data services are the three pillars of cloud migration.

  1. DevOps

DevOps is used for resource optimization, cost reduction, security, and more.

offshore software development cloud computing: tools for DevOps. How to use them for offshore cloud services

Cost optimization with DevOps best practices

Your potential offshore cloud software development partner should have solid DevOps expertise and help you reduce costs. Your potential vendor should be able to help to understand what resources you are using (Audit), analyze what can be optimized and how to do it (Plan), monitor expenditures of IT cost (Implement), and investigate new services to reduce costs and optimize your infrastructure usage even more (Improve). 

cloud software development in Europe: how your offshore cloud service provider can help you optimize costs with DevOps best practices

Now let’s view the best practices in more detail: 

Your offshore software development cloud computing vendor-to-be can use Infrastructure as Code and automate the CI/CD process and provisioning of IT infrastructure. Doing so will allow developers to focus on more high-value tasks.

Also, your provider of offshore software development cloud computing can perform the audit of the system, and understand if it is more efficient to use a managed service or build and manage the service on your own. 

DevOps professionals should also reduce infrastructure usage where it can be reduced, as well as shut down infrastructure resources when they are not used, and launch them again if needed. 

Other ways of cost-reduction:

  1. Resource cost optimization. Use optimal pricing types of cloud resources, which allows gaining maximum efficiency for a minimum price.
  2. Deleting underused instances
  3. Moving rarely accessed storage to cheaper tiers
  4. Exploring of hosting in a different region could reduce costs
  5. Using discounts
  6. Setting alerts for crossing predetermined spend thresholds

DevOps expertise is also critical in terms of security risk mitigation

 Experienced DevOps engineers can make necessary configurations and ensure the long-term security of your data in the cloud.

  • Enable multi-factor authentication and set up user access policies;
  • Encrypt data assets in transit and at rest;
  • Isolate individual workloads to minimize any damage an attacker could cause;
  • Implement necessary controls;
  • Configure a Firewall;
  • Train others to maintain security in the cloud.
  1. Application transformation

Find a vendor for offshore software development cloud computing that can help you choose and implement the cloud migration strategy that best fits your specific business case.

offshore software development cloud computing: tools for application transformation

  • Re-hosting applications;
  • Re-platforming taking the most advantage of the cloud provider IaaS or PaaS
  • Cloud-Native transformation of legacy workloads that need architecture modernization
  • Monolith to microservices migration

Cloud applications are easier to manage and maintain, as they comprise individual microservices. So, monolith to microservices migration will allow you to enjoy the benefits like optimal time-to-market and new feature releases, scalability of development teams, and efficient use of underlying IaaS/PaaS resources by scaling only those parts of the system that experience high load. 

Also, microservices can be improved incrementally to continuously add new and improved application features.

Make sure that your offshore cloud services provider has the necessary expertise for building microservices:

  • Data modeling (shared-nothing architectures, stateless systems, log aggregation, monitoring, etc.);
  • Understanding of Docker;
  • API development;
  • Asynchronous and event-driven programming (as it is how the microservice architecture functions);
  • Orchestration technologies (Kubernetes, Swarm, etc.).
  1. Data services

Data services require the following expertise:

  1. Classical SQL and NoSQL DBMS
  2. Big Data/ Data Warehouse/ Data lake
  3. Real-time Data processing
  4. Business Intelligence (BI)
  5. Data Science
  6. AI and Machine Learning

Tools for Data services your offshore cloud services provider should work with

However, moving data to the cloud involves a lot of security risks: compliance violations, contractual breaches, not secure APIs, misconfigured servers, malware, cyberattacks, accidental errors, insider threats, etc. 

This risk can be mitigated by using security as a service from Azure and AWS. These services ensure that your physical assets are protected from unauthorized access. 

Also, the majority of offshore cloud services providers have strong portfolios of compliances including ISO, HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc. that we will cover later in the article. They invest heavily in security to protect customers’ data from cybersecurity risks. 

What’s more, they offer robust solutions to secure your data and information during cloud migration. 

  1. Experience with multi-cloud migration and working with different cloud vendors (Azure, AWS, Google Cloud)

There are two options: to go with one cloud provider or opt for managing multiple cloud platforms. Each decision has its pros and cons. If you select one cloud provider, there is a higher risk of vendor lock-in. Balancing workloads between several cloud platforms is more complicated as each provider offers different services and tools for management, thus more expensive. However, Cloud Adoption and Risk report by McAfee states that 78% of organizations are currently using the combination of AWS and Azure to avoid common risks in cloud migration.

For instance, N-iX is a consulting partner of AWS, Microsoft Gold Partner, and Google cloud platform partner. Thus, our cloud professionals are 100% certified by these industry leaders and are fully equipped to help you develop cloud-native apps or move your existing applications to the cloud. Our professionals will support you at every stage of your cloud journey: from cloud readiness assessment and cloud strategy development to infrastructure set up, architecture redesign, migration, and maintenance.  

  1. Expertise in migration to public, private and hybrid cloud

Private cloud is used exclusively by one organization. Users can access data in the private cloud from anywhere, like with a public cloud. However, no one else can access or utilize those resources, so private clouds deliver a higher level of security and privacy. The company that owns the private cloud is responsible for maintaining both software and infrastructure. Thus, private clouds require the same staffing, management, and maintenance expenses as traditional data centers.

Public cloud is the model where you buy a part in a cloud computing environment that is shared with a number of other clients. Public cloud services are either free or offered through a subscription or on-demand pricing scheme. In public clouds, essential infrastructure and operating systems are controlled by cloud providers. So, they are responsible for the management, maintenance, security, and upgrades of the platform.

Hybrid cloud is a mixture of a public cloud and a private cloud. It ensures that two platforms interact seamlessly with data and applications move seamlessly from one to another. 

Apart from the decision on what type of cloud to use, you should decide what to migrate to the cloud and what to leave on your on-premise data centers. If you need to adopt a hybrid strategy, you have to plan accordingly. An experienced offshore cloud services provider will help you with the most suitable cloud migration plan.

Information such as financial records, client’s data, etc. is not a good candidate for migration and should not be kept in the public cloud. According to GDPR standards, healthcare and finance must keep the company’s critical data on physical servers in a particular region. Companies often opt for storing sensitive data on the on-premise data centers and use a public cloud platform for computing power, flexibility, connectivity, and scalability.

Also, you should take into account some not cloud-specific aspects of choosing a reliable vendor for offshore software development cloud computing.

How to choose the best offshore development company for cloud computing 

  1. Location

There are two main outsourcing destinations in the world: Eastern Europe and India. Now we will view them from the perspective of offshore cloud services and take a closer look at cloud software development in Europe. 

Eastern Europe is one of the most prominent outsourcing destinations that allure businesses from all over the world due to its cost-efficiency and quality of services. 

The region is home to over a million top-notch professionals: Ukraine, Poland, and Romania are the countries with the most significant number of tech specialists. So, if you need staff augmentation of cloud professionals, take this region into account. 

As far as offshore cloud services in Europe and cloud computing experts are concerned, there are 42,000 AWS specialists, 34,000 Azure professionals, and 17,000 Google cloud specialists in the region. Ukraine, Poland, and Romania house over half of this figure in each domain. 

India boasts an extensive talent pool of cloud specialists and over 200 cloud computing companies, according to Clutch.co. However, there are aspects that hamper outsourcing to India in terms of cloud computing outsourcing. For instance, the Internet quality (that is critical in cloud computing) is lower in India as compared to Eastern Europe. 

  1. Strong tech portfolio of your potential offshore cloud services provider

Your vendor for offshore software development cloud computing has to assist you at every stage of the cloud development lifecycle: the specifications process, design, licensing, migration, the transition to the cloud infrastructure, maintenance, and support. So, make sure that your provider-to-be has the needed experience in cloud-based solutions. Browse the website of your vendor and assess their tech portfolio, as well as client reviews.

  1. The robust knowledge transfer plan

No matter what services you need, a robust knowledge transfer plan is a must in IT outsourcing and cloud software development in Europe. A robust knowledge transfer plan helps the provider of offshore software development cloud computing understand your product and its functionality thoroughly, so it is critical for the fruitful cooperation. To know more about the stages of a knowledge transfer plan - read the article.

  1. Security compliances

No matter what services you need to outsource, the security of software development is of prime importance. So, look for a vendor that complies with the international infosecurity standards and other regulations. 

For instance:

ISO 27001 means the implementation of controls to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. 

ISO 9001:2015 assures quality management in an organization

PCI DSS is mandatory for a company that accepts card payments and processes cardholder information. 

HIPAA is required when working with medical data.

Also, a reliable vendor for offshore software development cloud computing conducts internal audits of information security and projects to ensure compliance with internal information security policies and project requirements. 

Companies that benefited from offshore cloud services (Ukraine)

  1. Lebara

Lebara is one of the fastest-growing mobile companies in Europe. It connects five million active customers and 1,400 employees worldwide and established its presence in nine countries.

The company has partnered with N-iX, one of the biggest software development companies in Europe for a wide array of services, including offshore cloud services.

For instance, Lebara decided to migrate its solutions from on-premises to the cloud and follow the multi-cloud strategy. They have chosen two cloud providers - AWS and Azure. 

N-iX has been leading the client’s cloud transformation and development of scalable, easy to maintain, and cost-efficient cloud solutions. 

N-iX experts worked on building the microservices on AWS. Our DevOps specialists designed and developed a fully automated CI/CD pipeline in AWS.

Also, our developers contributed to the migration from on-premises to Azure. To ensure a clear and automated CI/CD process, they designed and developed a fully automated CI/CD pipeline in Azure.

Within this partnership, N-iX professionals are responsible for code quality, stability, high performance, and maintainability. N-iX provides its expertise in cloud, DevOps, Big Data, Business intelligence, and others. 

cloud staff augmentation and cloud software development in Europe (Ukraine), successful offshore cloud services

  1. Vable

Vable is a content automation platform from the UK. The company helps companies across the globe manage information from various sources in one place and deliver the most relevant content to their audience.

The company was looking for a trusted partner with long-standing experience in offshore cloud services that would develop a new solution from the ground up and started cooperating with N-iX. Our professionals received the task to design, develop, and test a cloud-based platform that would aggregate, process, and deliver the best content to the end-users.

As a result of this partnership and cloud software development in Ukraine, Vable has got an innovative cloud-based solution that has over 17,000 users across the globe. 

cloud staff augmentation and cloud software development in Europe (Ukraine), successful offshore cloud services

  1. RateSetter

RateSetter is a peer-to-peer lending company in the UK and Australia that unites over 250,000 active customers.

The client needed to extend the team to cope with technological tasks, so considered nearshoring to Eastern Europe and cooperated with a team at N-iX.

N-iX gathered a team of specialists in the most innovative technologies. The dedicated development team was engaged in software architecture design and development, quality assurance, and other engineering operations.

The dedicated developers at N-iX have helped the client to build the microservice architecture for the platform to enable greater scalability and faster service improvements.

Successful example of offshore cloud services

  1. Gogo

Gogo is a global leader in in-flight connectivity, based in North America. They cooperated with Ni-X in order to extend their team capacity and 24/7 data development and support. 

N-iX gathered the team of specialists in Scala, Python, AWS, Hadoop, Apache Spark, Tableau, etc. 

N-iX developers have performed a complete migration to the cloud (AWS) and built a data warehouse system.

Our team has made an end-to-end delivery pipeline. From the moment when the logs come from the equipment to the moment when they are thoroughly analyzed, processed, and stored in the data warehouse. 

As a result, Gogo was able to unify huge amounts of data in one place, optimize operations, and streamline the system of predicting failures, thus benefited from offshore cloud services in Ukraine. 

cloud staff augmentation and cloud software development in Europe (Ukraine), offshore cloud services

  1. Orbus

Orbus Software is a provider of business transformation management services based in the UK. 

The company needed a dedicated team of specialists to expand their capabilities for one of their products, so they partnered with N-iX.

Our team has helped Orbus Software modernize the tech stack of their software products, extend their functionality, and move to automated testing to better serve their customers.

The team has grown to over 40 people including not only QA specialists, .NET developers, a DevOps specialist, BI developers, Scrum Masters, a Product Owner, Technical Consultants as well as first and second-line Support Specialists.

N-iX professionals have provided the client with back-end software development services. Using the latest Microsoft technology stack such as .NET Core and Azure services, we have developed back-end for the new generation of the product, works with the existing UI, and can be exposed via API for use by Orbus clients. So, thanks to the offshore cloud services and a viable partnership, the overall performance and scalability of the product have improved.

cloud staff augmentation and cloud software development in Europe (Ukraine), offshore cloud services

Why choose N-iX as your offshore cloud services provider?

  1. N-iX has vast experience in offshore cloud services that include on-premise-to-cloud migration, cloud-to-cloud migration as well as multi-cloud and hybrid cloud management;
  2. N-iX offers professional DevOps outsourcing services, including Cloud adoption (architecture, migration, optimization), building and streamlining CI/CD processes, security issues detection/prevention (DDOS & intrusion), firewall-as-a-service, and others;
  3. The company is a certified AWS partner, a Microsoft gold certified partner, an Opentext Services silver partner, and an SAP partner;
  4. The company is recognized by IAOP, GSA, Inc. 5000, Software 500, Clutch.co, and other global awards;
  5. N-iX is compliant with PCI DSS, ISO 9001, ISO 27001, as well as GDPR standards.

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By Khrystyna Zabor July 27, 2020
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About N-iX

N-iX is an Eastern European software development service company that helps businesses across the globe expand their engineering capabilities and develop successful software products. Founded in 2002, N-iX has formed strategic partnerships with a variety of global industry leaders and Fortune 500 companies, including OpenText, Fluke Corporation, AVL, Lebara, Currencycloud, RateSetter, TuneIn, and many others. With more than 1,700 professionals, N-iX offers expert solutions in software engineering, cloud-native services, data analytics, embedded software, IoT, machine learning, and other tech domains covering a wide variety of sectors, including finance, manufacturing, telecom, supply chain, to name a few.

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