As more and more of us choose cloud service providers for our IT needs, it’s vital to pick the right one. The choice is so wide that it’s hard to know where to start. And, while the first inclination might be to go for one of the big names, there are plenty of smaller providers who are well worth considering. But whoever you’re thinking about, there are six key areas to examine.
Security’s a key concern in the cloud so it’s the very first aspect to examine. To appreciate how the provider measures up, it’s a case of evaluating your own security needs and priorities. Then it’s a question of seeing if the free features of the vendor’s service measure up with your requirements and which extra ones you may need to pay for in addition.
Your business or organization is going to have some specific compliance standards so you should make sure that you’re aware of what it may take to achieve the required level once your data’s in the cloud. There is a CIF Code of Compliance for GDPR which is well worth familiarizing yourself with but it’s also essential to understand where your and the cloud provider’s responsibilities lie. It’s also a good idea to find out if they have ISO accreditation too.
It’s also going to be important to take a deep dive into the architecture of your proposed system and how it’s going to work alongside your existing ones. It’s also key to examine which of the different storage systems available will be most suitable for your needs. There are generally different options depending on how often or how seldom you want to retrieve data and choosing the right one could mean considerable savings.
You should also dedicate some time to thinking about the amount of management the cloud system will demand from your own IT team. Because making the wrong choice will mean that a move that is designed to make things easier can potentially present additional demands on their time, to the detriment of other parts of the business.
Support and service levels
Make sure that the service level agreement is clear so you know what the provider’s contractual obligations are. You should be confident that you’ll be able to get help as and when you need it. For example, by opting for a service like Verpex™ hosting you can be sure of 24/7 phone and Live Chat support with 99% of all support ticket answered within the hour.
Last, but not least, there’s the cost to be considered. Remember that it’s not just the cost of the provider to be taken into account, there’s also the additional burden on your own resources and extra staff who may be needed and this may vary by provider. This means the cheapest option could cost you much more in the long run.
So, hopefully this has given you a little guidance on what is inevitably a very complex subject – and now it’s time to put it into practice.