Tip of the Week: 6 Guidelines to Make Sure Your Cloud Provider is a Good Fit
With predictions putting cloud computing spending at $55 billion in 2026 with expectations of steady growth up to that point, the cloud is clearly a popular solution to implement. After all, why wouldn’t it be? Companies can host critical applications on it, store their data on it as a defense against on-site disasters, and mass-update applications and software.
At first glance, the cloud seems like the ultimate solution–but a wise business owner will be cautious when selecting a cloud solution to implement. Simply put, not all clouds are created equal, and in order to avoid storms in the future, a thorough evaluation of some important considerations is necessary before making a decision.
First of all, read the Terms of Service.
It’s a classic business technique to hide less-desirable elements of an agreement in lines, paragraphs, and pages and pages of jargon. However, regardless of whether or not you actually read the terms the document outlines, you will still be held to them should there ever be an issue down the line. These terms will also inform you as to whether or not you wish to enter an agreement that will hold you to those conditions.
And, for that matter, the Service Level Agreement.
If you’re relying on the cloud to provide your software as a service, you need to be familiar with the exact procedures your provider will undergo if there is ever an outage of service. How will they go about identifying and solving their issue, and in the case of a lengthy outage, will they repay your fee or offer a discount for the time spent where they were unable to provide their promised services?
Establish how they Handle Their Processes in a Worst-Case Scenario.
Does the cloud provider shy away from questions pertaining to compliance in terms of industry regulations? Have they guaranteed that you will still have your data if they, the cloud services provider, are suddenly struck by disaster? As far as access goes, can you edit your files while offline to have them be updated when a connection is restored? How usable is their mobile device access? You’re relying on them during your worst-case scenario, remember, so you have to be sure they will be reliable–even during their own.
Consider the Cost.
Ask yourself, is the provider you’re currently examining giving you a straightforward, all-inclusive price, or will additional functions add an additional charge to the total? Ask yourself what features are included for each price level a cloud provider offers. Is there a feature that meets your needs for a fee you consider fair? If not, it’s time to move on and start reviewing the next provider on your list.
Are your Current Systems Compatible?
To modify an old saying, if it breaks, you didn’t fix it, and cloud concerns are no exception. If you attempt to implement a cloud solution, and suddenly find out your other current solutions are incompatible or require custom integration, your cloud solution just became a problem.
Are your Employees Compatible?
After all, if an employee isn’t properly transitioned into utilizing a new solution (and just when they had mastered the old one, too), they may become resistant to the change and fight against it. In cases where this may become an issue, it is important that you work with your employees to make the transition to a new system of doing things as smooth as possible.
If the cloud service provider fails more of these considerations than it passes, you should strongly consider passing them by as you continue your selection process.
For more assistance in selecting a cloud provider, reach out to Resolve I.T. at (978) 993-8038.