How to Choose a Cloud Provider

How to Choose a Cloud Provider

You made the decision to migrate your software applications to the cloud? Great! Now you just need to figure out what you absolutely must have, what you really don’t need and how you’re going to get it done.

Everybody’s Doing It

As you’re no doubt aware, cloud computing has taken the technology community by storm. Removing end user maintenance to the Internet makes life easier. Nevertheless, before signing up with the first service provider that comes knocking, you’ve got to do some research. Just like hiring an Internet marketing services provider, there are those who know what they’re doing and those who definitely don’t.

The Most Important Consideration

Without exception, your number one, most important, absolutely-cannot-be-compromised consideration is security. Because your documents and data will live in a virtual world, you must verify that your chosen cloud service provider has expert, professional privacy controls. The last thing you need as a business owner is to find out that a hacker accessed your proprietary information.

But a Close Second Is Service

While security is of the utmost importance, reliability is essential. Turning on your computer in the morning only to discover that your provider is down doesn’t just stop you, it stops everyone around you. Make sure you read your CSP maintenance agreement carefully—what happens if there’s a service outage? What happens if you get hacked? What happens if you decide to migrate to another CSP? Can they describe their disaster recovery plan in detail?If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you need to do more homework. An excellent place to start is with your CSP management team. Who are the key players, and what is their collective level of experience? What clients do they serve and can they provide references? Do they have enterprise experience? Is the company HIPAA or Sarb-Ox certified? Get these answers in writing and you will be able to sleep better at night.

Compatibility

One major cloud computing drawback is that CSPs are rarely compatible with one another. That means if you want to leave your CSP for any reason, migrating your data will be difficult. Until CSPs adopt a common set of standards, the burden will be on you to verify what services are compatible with one another. Look at it this way—cloud computing, like ecommerce SEO, is just beginning, with a lot of horses jockeying for first place. Place your bets wisely.

A Commitment to Innovative Technology

If you suspect that your cloud provider is overpriced for what they offer or that their solutions are resting on their laurels, then your prospective CSP may not have a commitment to the industry. Make sure your CSP is planning launch 5 even though their customers are living in launch 3. When it comes to technology, those who stand still are really running backward and you don’t want to get left behind.

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