Five questions to ask before choosing a cloud service provider

choosing a cloud service provider

Choosing a cloud service provider is like choosing a mechanic to install digital locks for your home. You need to find a team that’s skilled, reliable, and trustworthy to avoid theft, or in your business’s case to keep confidential data safe.

While countless providers claim to be cloud experts, not all are created equal. With that in mind, here are five questions you need to ask when choosing a cloud service provider.  .

What services and solutions do you offer?

You might have an accounting firm that needs applications like QuickBooks and Outright, or a law firm looking to adopt Office 365. Whatever your application needs, make sure your cloud provider can support them.

When choosing a cloud service provider, choose one that hosts all services and solutions on their own infrastructure, just as we do. This way, you can rest assured that no third-party vendors have control over your data, and you’ll always know who is responsible for what.

How much internet bandwidth is required for my cloud infrastructure to perform optimally?

Ask your internet service provider about your current upload and download speed as well as your bandwidth per user. Then, check with your provider to see what speed per user they recommend to seamlessly access data and use applications. Taking care of your internet needs before migration will simplify the entire process.

How much uptime does your SLA guarantee?

Cloud providers today should offer financially backed service level agreements (SLAs) that guarantee 99.9 percent uptime. You must ask for your provider’s uptime history to determine the amount of downtime that has occurred in the past and how long it took them to fix issues. 

Moreover, a good cloud provider should inform you about issues and the procedures involved in fixing without using complex tech jargon. Avoid providers who outsource their helpdesk, as that could result in communication breakdown and slower issue resolution.

How do you ensure the availability and security of my data?

Needless to say, your cloud provider should store your critical data safely. Cloud vendors usually store customer data in geographically-diverse data centers that they own. Some may store your data in data centers outside the country; if that’s the case, make sure that the laws of that country don’t affect your data use.

For heightened security, your cloud provider should offer granular privacy controls that give only certain employees access to specified data. They should back up your data on a regular basis and inform you about the systems they use to prevent data loss. A documented data security policy is crucial to ensure that your data will not be accessible by the provider’s staff, or distributed in any way.

At the very least, your cloud provider should offer the following protections: hard-to-guess passwords, data encryption, two-step authentication, and video surveillance cameras. They should make it easier for you to manage access to specific files on a user-by-user basis as your company grows, too.

Can I get data from the cloud back to my data center?

You may not want to use the cloud forever, so it’s crucial that you know how you can get your data out of your provider’s data center. At SimplyClouds, we have no problem migrating our client’s data back to their infrastructure, but we can’t say the same for other cloud providers. Asking your provider prior to partnering will ensure you’re able to get your data back even in a dispute.

Choosing a cloud provider should not be taken lightly. Being prepared with all the information you need to address any underlying issue is critical for long-term success.

At SimplyClouds, we have extensive experience with cloud technology, and hundreds of clients who will attest to our expertise. If you have any questions about the cloud, or are looking for a seamless migration, give us a call and we’ll happily advise.

Categories: Basic cloud concepts, Cloud services, Cloud providers

Tags: cloud migration, cloud providers, cloud questions, cloud security, business cloud