Once your business decides to adopt cloud computing—that is, using cloud servers to store and share data—the next step is to choose the right cloud provider.
As you begin the search, it’s important to know that there are many cloud service providers out there, and they are not all created equal! It’s critical to do your research, get quotes from multiple companies, and ensure due diligence.
As you meet with representatives from different cloud companies, here are a few questions that you can ask to help guide the decision-making process.
What Should You Ask Your Cloud Service Provider?
- What specific services do you offer? Some cloud companies may offer bare-bones data storage, while others offer a more robust suite of business management tools. Depending on what you’re looking for, the services a given company offers may or may not match your needs.
- Where is the data stored? Cloud storage requires a secured and up-to-date facility—and in an ideal scenario, your cloud service provider will also have a back-up location, ensuring you can access your data even if the primary storage center goes offline in an earthquake or hurricane.
- What are your policies and procedures for keeping data secure? You should always look for a cloud service provider that’s willing to offer some real details about their data security practices. Specifically ask if they have had any past breaches, and what they’ve done to ensure this won’t happen again.
- How often do you perform data backups? Ask your cloud company not just how often they do routine backups, but also how quickly they can restore data when necessary.
- What’s your server’s up-time? In other words, ask how often the cloud server is offline, and how long these downtimes tend to last. Note that all companies have outages from time to time, but hopefully, you’ll find a cloud provider where those outages are very minor and infrequent.
- How will I manage my services? Make sure your IT team has an easy way to manage your cloud services—including some consolidated software services and/or a simple online dashboard.
- What’s the cost? You should obviously ask for the bottom-line cost, but keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always better. Paying less money but having more regular downtimes may actually cost you in the long run. Think in terms of value, not just getting the cheapest monthly rate.
- Who are some of your past clients? Don’t hesitate to ask for references and/or testimonials—and be skeptical of any company that won’t provide them.
- Who do I call if there is a problem? Make sure there is a clear point person, and that you know how to reach that person any time there is an issue.
Finding the Cloud Service Provider For Your Business
As you can tell, there are a number of factors to consider when selecting a cloud service company—so take your time, do your homework, and don’t settle until you find the company you’re really confident about.
If you have any additional questions about heading to the cloud, we’d love to help you. Reach out to the business tech experts at Salient Networks with any additional inquiries! Connect with us today.