Choosing the right cloud provider: The essential checklist
Moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud can be one of your company’s most strategic moves. Your next step is to choose the right cloud provider, a critical process that can make or break your business. You might think “Cloud providers are a dime a dozen, so how different can they be?”
Think of it this way: While all mobile network operators equip you with wireless service communications, they don’t offer the same data speeds and service plans. Cloud providers are no different; it’s not just about who can get the job done, but who can get it done in a way that supports your business long-term, as it evolves. With that in mind, here’s our essential provider checklist to help you choose the best cloud provider for you.
Many companies can learn about cloud computing and package a solution, but this doesn’t make them an expert. You need a cloud provider with a strong track record and financial security. A reputable cloud provider should have governance and risk management practices in place, perform audits that meet regulatory compliance, and offer financially-backed service level agreements (SLA).
A cloud provider that specializes in manufacturing won’t do you much good if you’re a medical practice. Take a look at your provider’s client list and case studies. Then find out what applications they offer and whether they’re designed for your specific industry.
You should know what your cloud computing needs are. How much data storage do you need? What about email, data analysis, accounting or CRM software? Whatever your needs may be, your cloud provider must have the tools and solutions to meet them. In addition, it should offer general-purpose cloud computing services like IT networking infrastructure with on-demand access to virtual services, applications, and software.
One major advantage to cloud computing is the ability to access business information from anywhere at anytime. consequently, your cloud provider should make it easy for you to sign into their login page online. Furthermore, your provider should ensure mobile device compatibility with endpoint protection, too.
While most cloud providers can provide a higher level of security than a business can achieve on its own, that doesn’t mean you should settle for whatever they have to offer.
Any serious cloud provider should offer comprehensive security policies and procedures for controlling access to its systems. It should leverage robust identity management to prevent unauthorized access and changes to data and applications, perform regular data backup, and utilize off-site data centers. Other security measures you should look for include firewalls, anti-virus detection, data encryption, and security audits.
You should pay only for what you use, so make sure your cloud provider offers pay-as-you-go pricing. Fees can be charged hourly, monthly, or annually, depending on your provider. Be aware of hefty upfront costs, as these are not the norms of reputable cloud vendors.
24/7 online or phone support is the rule, not the exception. Take into consideration your cloud provider’s average response and resolution time, who you’ll be interacting with, and whether you’ll have access to live chat support.
It’s important to be patient, explore your options, and consider using a cloud provider checklist. If something doesn’t make sense, back away. SimplyClouds, we’re proud to be serving our loyal, long-term clients. We dare say our cloud services, solutions and support speak for themselves. If you have questions concerning cloud technology, or are looking for a smooth transition, give us a call. You won’t be disappointed.