So much of what an organization does now is cloud-based, from the applications and programs your employees use to perform their work to the tools and resources you use to collaborate and communicate. And because so much more of what we do happens in the cloud, choosing the right cloud service provider is essential. Consider these factors when choosing your cloud service provider:
Where Will Your Data Be Stored?
Knowing where your data will be stored is crucial. Some cloud service providers are resellers who simply white label another provider’s services as their own and have virtually no control over where the data is stored. And you want to know where your data is being stored, because if it’s being stored in another country, your access and security may be compromised. Ask potential cloud service providers for the locations of their data centers.
How Will You Be Charged for Cloud Services?
Will you have predictable charges that allow you to plan for the future? Does your cloud service provider give you the flexibility of scale, so that as your organization grows, changes, or requires less space, you can quickly adjust? Ask potential cloud service providers about flexibility and scalability.
How Reliable Is Your Cloud Provider’s Infrastructure?
One of the reasons businesses are shifting to cloud-based services is to take advantage of the cost savings realized when someone else is responsible for maintaining the server infrastructure and equipment. However, downtime can be costly, whether your organization is responsible for repairs or not. Ask potential cloud providers about the state of their equipment and about the experience of the engineers operating the servers.
Who Owns Your Data in the Cloud?
When you store your data in the cloud, do you still “own” your data, or does the provider have the right to use it, even in a derivative form? And how secure is your stored data? When choosing a cloud service provider, be sure you understand their policies concerning the use of your data and who might have access to it. Seek a provider whose policies align with your security requirements and comfort level.
How Secure Is Your Data?
Maintaining compliance with a variety of directives is one of the biggest concerns with cloud-based business operations. From HIPAA to Sarbanes-Oxley, security is an essential consideration when choosing a cloud service provider. Ask potential cloud providers how they manage security and whether or not they can comply with regulatory, industry, and corporate security policies.
Cloud-based everything is the future. It is a cost-effective path toward faster growth, more flexibility, and improved collaboration. Having a true partner in your cloud service provider is essential. At thinkCSC, we manufacture and support our own cloud services. Because we own our own cloud, we can be very nimble when it comes to customizing solutions for your IT needs. Learn more.