Businesses that want to make the move to cloud computing have an ever increasing selection of service providers from which to choose, despite cloud computing still being a developing technology. For companies considering the switch, there are a few areas that need careful consideration.
Reliability and Reputation of the Service Provider
When utilizing the services of a cloud computing provider, it’s imperative to understand that you’re trusting an outside company with the life blood of your company. All of your data is stored, processed and delivered on their network. The provider must have a solid track record of reliability. The value of their services will be irrelevant if you don’t have access to your data when you need it.
Also consider the reputation of the service provider. Are they well regarded in the industry, or is there an air of doubt surrounding their operations? Addressing these issues early will help prevent problems in the future.
Service Level Agreement and Constant Support
Once you’ve decided that the service provider can offer you the reliable service that you need, and that they have a reputation that suits your interest, it’s important to have full disclosure of their Service Level Agreement. You need to know what kind of uptime they are promising, and what compensation they offer should their services, meaning your data, be unavailable.
Due consideration must be given to any support issues. What is the availability of their support staff? Are their support technicians outsourced? What is the response time for outages? Any questions you may have about potential issues should be addressed during the selection process.
The importance of this feature will vary, depending on the needs of your company, but it should go without saying that this is the one area that you must thoroughly understand. What sort of intrusion protection, both physical and digital, will be used to safeguard your information?
While cloud computing, by its very nature, ensures that your data can survive against hardware failure or natural disaster, you should also understand what other types of backups may be used to store your data.
Cloud computing offers features that can benefit many companies. Making the transition to this new platform can be accomplished with minimum stress, provided these few tips are followed. Before making the switch, do you homework. Make sure your provider offers the right level of reliability, service, support and security for your company.