Deciding to throw your data into the elusive cloud is not a decision to be made on a whim. Choosing a cloud solution provider should not be based on brand preference or hype around a particular provider.
Before choosing your cloud solution, there are several questions you should know the answers to that will ultimately help to whittle down the competition.
What Cloud Services Do You Need?
This seems like an obvious question, but be sure that you sit down and detail out exactly what it is that you’d like to put into the cloud and why. You may find that there are several services that you can easily keep on premises and that others would do well to be stored elsewhere.
What Pricing Structure Am I Looking For?
Cloud providers have varying pricing structures and not all will be compatible with your budgeting cycle. The biggest point to consider is that you should only pay for what you use. Pay as you go is the most flexible payment plan and shouldn’t require any upfront costs, which isn’t typical for reputable cloud providers. Make sure you determine what the vendor’s fee options are, too. The cost per user could have a pretty big swing between providers.
Does It Make a Difference Where the Data Center Is?
First and foremost, the location of the vendor’s data center does make a difference in a number of ways. Make sure that your data will be stored in a secure location. You don’t want to sign up for the service then find out it’s some college kid’s thesis project.
Second, the geographical location is important to keep in mind. A vendor that is located in tornado country may not be the best place to store important company information. If you happen to find a provider that hits all your sweet spots, ask for an overview of their protection plan against fires, floods and other natural disasters.
What Is My Threshold for Data Security Risks?
It goes without saying that you want your data to be safe from various types of threats. Ask the vendor to walk you through their on premise and cyber-security protocol. Preventing people from accessing your data is one area your provider should have a very clear answer about.
Don’t be shy to ask about their employee screening process either. Verify that all employees of their organization undergo background screenings. Look for a cloud service provider that carries an SSAE 16 certification which ensures they’re compliant with industry security standards. Have questions about cloud solutions for your business? Contact us today to see how we can help.