Because not all cloud providers are created equal, especially given the “increasing number of companies offerings an ever-growing menu of cloud computing solutions” (Entreprenuer.com), it’s up to IT organizations to find the best and forget the rest. Before settling on a cloud provider, be sure you’re not settling:
The 5 Essential Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Cloud Provider
- How secure is your cloud?
Security issues are always top on mind in IT. That’s especially true in cloud computing. Cloud providers should have several, constantly updated, standard security measures in place. Considerations include everything from firewalls, anti-virus detection, multifactor user authentication and data encryption, to personnel concerns. Don’t be shy about asking who in the cloud provider’s organization will have access to your data and how stringent employee background checks are.
- Where – and how safe – is your data center?
As you narrow down a cloud provider, ask how it protects its data center from natural disasters such as fire and flood, as well as man-made mayhem. When talking data center security, bottom line, you want nothing less than a cloud provider, that meets the gold standard: SSAE 16 certification.
- What is your pricing structure?
Reputable cloud providers allow customers to only pay for what they need. With that said, large upfront costs are not part of the equation. You want to be able to pay-as-you-go and add/expand your services as time goes by. Can I really migrate without capital expenditures or tying up my IT staff with migration details? Find out.
- What kind of support will I be getting?
Without doubt, you should demand technical support available 24 hours a day, including holidays. We’re not talking customer service reps with scripted responses, we’re talking highly trained engineers dedicated to your cloud computing. The kind of support you can count on from leaders.
- How can I count on smooth/scalable migration?
Of course you want your cloud migration to go as smooth as silk, on a structured timeline that makes the most sense for your business. Ask a potential cloud provider how they plan to make that happen. Determine how much flexibility they can offer, as well, to meet your additional cloud computing needs and increased data storage/management requirements as your business evolves.