Finding a cloud provider can be a minefield of quality. With so many cloud based solutions out there, it’s hard to filter out those companies trying to get your business, promising the earth!
It’s vital to have due diligence when assessing potential cloud suppliers. These companies will be hosting your data, responsible for your access and managing your support requests, so they must be a good fit within your organization.
While cost is a critical factor in purchasing decisions, sometimes it can lead to compromise in other areas such as security or response times.
With our tips below, we’ll help you find the cloud provider most suited to your needs, no matter the solution. These tips cover almost all situations when considering cloud providers and can be expanded further if needed.
Table of Contents
What Do Customers Say?
When looking at cloud providers, the first thing to consider is what their current customers say. Look for posts bragging about customer success stories or google reviews.
Customer success or failure is crucial to finding a cloud provider that will give you a good experience. If customers don’t have good things to say, steer clear! With all your data on their servers in their hands, it’s essential to know your queries will be dealt with promptly and efficiently.
Knowing whether a company responds to or acts on customer feedback is also good to learn from the beginning. Will your input and feedback be appreciated or left to rot in a customer feedback mailbox “grave”?
Policies and Compliance
Internal policies and procedures detailing the handling of sensitive information should be available on request, or at least evidence that they are in place at your cloud provider of choice.
While not necessary, ISO27001, NIST, and other cyber security accreditations are good indicators that these companies take their cybersecurity seriously, and standard policy and compliance practices are followed.
Cloud solutions are usually cost per user, gigabyte or service instance. If you foresee your requirements regularly changing with fluctuating users or data usage, it would be worth checking the cloud provider’s policy on scalability.
Do they allow changes weekly, monthly, or at all during a billing cycle? Does the cost fluctuate down as well as up? Or are you locked into a higher rate until renewal when you increase?
These are the kinds of questions you need to consider when assessing your needs from a potential cloud provider.
Reliability and Performance
A good cloud service provider will discuss their Service Level Agreement (SLA) terms with you on engagement or when requested.
Those with good SLAs will be happy to provide statistics from their helpdesk reporting (anonymized, obviously!) to prove their reliability and response rate. If there are no statistics, you could consider a reference mentioning their response rate, but it’s up to you to ensure their response level is good enough for you and your business.
Be sure to discuss how you’ll contact their support desk, what Key Performance Indicators (KPI) they’ll use to measure their reliability and systems performance, and what they consider a sound or standard service uptime.
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