5 questions to ask your cloud provider

Tech trends come and go, and are continuously evolving. What was bleeding edge five to 10 years ago is now used by nearly everyone, everyday, such as cloud technology. Many companies are migrating important systems to the cloud, and 2013 will likely see a continued increase in businesses using cloud services. If your company is considering such a move, there are some important questions you may want to ask prospective providers.

Here are five things you should ask cloud service providers when looking to make the move to the cloud.

  1. Is your service compatible with my existing systems? As a small or medium business, you may not have the funds to do a one-time, full transition into the cloud. This means that it would be a good idea to ask cloud providers if their systems are compatible with your current resources, and if you will be able to easily migrate your data. It is also important to know what will be involved in moving your operations off their systems, should something need to change in the future.
  2. How does your data security work? Data security in the cloud is a top issue for all businesses. Before committing, It’s a good idea to get a picture of where exactly your data will be stored, who has access to it, and the  level of storage security.
  3. What is your performance and availability? Numerous outages affecting cloud services happened in 2012. While few lasted more than half a day, this caused many observers to question just how stable the cloud is. When talking to cloud providers you should ask them what their uptime guarantees are, and if their cloud is scalable. If you need more computing resources, are they available?
  4. What is your support policy? As you will likely not be hosting a cloud server in your office, you will be at the whim of the provider. Before committing, familiarize yourself with the details of their support policy, such as whether they have a dedicated emergency contact, and the general response time to issues and inquiries.
  5. How does your fee structure work? Ask about the fee structure the provider uses. Most cloud operators offer numerous pricing schemes. Find the one that is most advantageous for your company.

Finding the right cloud provider for your company can be a long and often tough task. Asking the right questions, comparing what different providers have to offer, and weighing your options against your needs should help you find the perfect provider. If you’re interested in learning more about cloud services and how they can be employed in your business, why not start with us? We may have the perfect solution for you.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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