These days, with so many apps and services available for each and every tech device, it may seem like our digital worlds are becoming more and more crowded. An excellent solution that many tech departments utilize is to integrate a cloud-based service that’s capable of unloading some of that storage clutter.
So, which cloud-based services outperform their competitors, and what do they do? To shed some light on the services your tech department should consider using, we asked members of Forbes Technology Council to share their favorite cloud-based services for business. Their answers are below.
1. Amazon Web Services
If you’re not using Amazon Web Services you’re not really in technology today. Nothing holds a candle to AWS’ flexibility, breadth of scope or scalability. Too many tech jobs involve the support or maintenance of bespoke solutions that are completely unnecessary. In many cases it’s downright laughable. AWS is one of the best solutions released into the wild in more than a decade. Use it. – Tom Roberto, Core Technology Solutions
2. Google BigQuery And Google Data Studio
Two services together that are truly game changing are Google BigQuery and Google Data Studio. BigQuery allows you to expose massive amounts of data to anyone in your company with a desire to dig in and learn. With access to data in BigQuery, marketing teams become fully empowered. When you add Data Studio to BigQuery, people can create personal business dashboards with little technical expertise. – Andres Angelani, Softvision
Grafana, an open-source, vendor-neutral analytics platform, makes it easy for IT teams of all sizes to drill down into operational data to identify and mitigate real-time operational issues. A broad array of integrations with databases and other data sources enables operators to examine operational telemetry through useful dashboards and visualizations (for example, time-series charts, maps and histograms). – Kris Beevers, NS1
As quick access to new data and flexibility to test data enrichments continue to be the biggest hurdle for data scientists, we need solutions such as Nexla, which enables data scientists to self-serve access to data from new sources, enrich it through a drag-drop interface, run tests and iterate through new enrichment modules based on their learning without deploying scarce engineering resources. – Barkha Saxena, Poshmark
These days there are many ways to connect/chat with customers, causing most businesses to be disconnected from the customer journey. More complexity and no clarity leads to increased customer churn and poor talent retention, two expensive problems to fix. I like Nextiva, which solves this problem for us. Nextiva brings together tools like voice, chat, customer relationship management, email, surveys and analytics all in one place. – Dmitry Dragilev, JustReachOut Inc.
Everyone should use PagerDuty in combination with comprehensive monitoring so the tech department knows about errors and issues before their customers do. Nothing impacts confidence more than an employee in Finance or Operations calling IT to get the reply, “Well, this is the first time we’ve heard about the outage.” – Bret Piatt, Jungle Disk
We use Peakon. It’s employee engagement and people analytics software. We believe our team is our greatest asset, and we use Peakon to see (anonymously) what employees care about and are worried about at our company. Using the insight gained from Peakon, we take direct action on it. – Russell Smith, Rainforest QA, Inc.
8. Security Scorecard
Security Scorecard is a solution to not only get insight into the risk exposure your organization has externally, but also to have the ability to send a link to a third party, such as a potential vendor or partner, and have them run this service. Then, based on their grade, you can make decisions as to whether the risk exposure is too much or assist in their remediation. – Gary Hayslip, Webroot Inc.
Slack is a complete game-changer for tech teams. Reducing your dependence on email with Slack saves an unprecedented amount of time on frivolous communication and scheduling meetings. The integrations with other key software such as Google Drive and Jira also enable your team to collaborate productively and in an agile manner. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC
10. Jira And Trello
Of all the cloud-based services out there, I’d pick a task management system such as Jira or Trello. These systems allow you to plan out multiple projects, assign responsibilities, set priorities and review what was accomplished. These apps enable our team of over 100 employees split between Los Angeles and Poland to communicate and collaborate across a nine-hour time difference with ease. – Wojciech Sobczuk, VentureDevs
11. ELK Stack
Logging is critical for diagnosing complex problems with Web applications of internet-connected products, especially when they are at remote customer locations. The ELK Stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) is a comprehensive suite of tools for logging and analysis of data from a system. It is free, open-source and very customizable. It can be set up with a single click at most cloud providers. – Alex Kilpatrick, Blink Identity
12. Analytical Tools
Cloud-based analytical tools are important for deriving greater insights into the operation of the tech department, such as the monitoring of key performance indicators, as well as the gathering and preparing of supporting data for consumption. Derived insights may be used to improve operations, streamline processes, measure performance and improve understanding of products or deliverables. – Nelson Petracek, TIBCO Software Inc.
13. A Password Manager
Use a password manager tool (1Password, LastPass, KeePass, BitWarden) to create hard-to-crack passwords and store them securely in the cloud. They also provide secure ways of sharing passwords across teams when you need to do that—no more clear text passwords over insecure email or written on yellow stickies! – Colin Reid, Vox Financial Partners
14. Intrusion Detection And Prevention System (IDPS)
The cloud, once regarded as porous, has cleaned up its act. Data is now safer in the cloud than parked on premises, and IDPS is a big reason why that’s the case. IDPS technology transcends firewalls, effectively looking at threats above and around traditional barriers. For my money, no business should compute in the cloud without it. – Adam Stern, Infinitely Virtual