The 10 Key Things To Look For in Cloud Service Providers

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cloud service providers must be checked out carefully

Good Cloud Service Providers : Ten Attributes 

Small business cloud computing is growing rapidly with increasing number of new players.  If you are just beginning to look for cloud service providers, here are the top considerations you should hold firmly in mind.

See also: Just How Secure Is Your Cloud?

1. Top Technical Expertise

Cloud service providers should not be approached like a commodity:  it is not as elementary as providing you with the lowest rate computer in a server farm.  Reliable cloud computing demands much technical expertise to initiate the right system that warranties sufficient security for your data and allows you to run your business without interruption.  Key consideration should be placed on the quality of the cloud service provider’s support team and their technical adroitness.

*Sources: CloudTweaks and Sleeter Goup

2. Trust

You will be migrating confidential enterprise data to a third-party server. You really must able to trust the cloud computing provider.  Query their representatives and determine if they are they team with whom you can trust your confidential corporate data. Ask for references and client testimonials. Research cloud service providers completely before trusting them with your resources. Also, look for their industry accreditations and awards.

3. Service Uptime guarantees

Can you afford to have your server down for hours in the middle of a busy week? If not, ask for uptime guarantees from prospective cloud service providers. Ask their existing customers about previous outages, and how soon the vendor had the services restored. Cloud9 assures 99.99% uptime.

4. Dashboard tools available

Do the cloud service providers have a good tool set to help you with document management, security, etc?  Cloud9 cloud service includes the award-winning e-Dashboard for confident secure document management at all times.

5. Pain of migration

Will it be easy to migrate your data and applications to the cloud service provider?  Migration is one of the biggest pain-points for enterprises moving to the cloud, so check if your prospective cloud service provides tools and support to make this process less painful.

6. Performance guarantees

Just as uptime is crucial, so are performance metrics. Ask prospective cloud service providers about the servers they are using, the disc access speeds, the processor types, network bandwidth and availability of SSDs.

7. Customer Support

You are going to trust your corporate IT infrastructure and data with a third party cloud service provider. What if your server crashes at the start of the day due to a malfunctioning app? Are you sure you can get it fixed ASAP? Customer support is critical, and it is important that the vendor provides you 24/7 technical support. If the support is inadequate, you can expect to spend more dollars on an in-house IT team.

8. How serious are they about Security?

Security should be a top priority for cloud service providers. Ask about the steps they take to ensure the security of your data and applications.

9. Third-party compliance audits

Is the cloud service providers being considered audited by third-party compliance teams to back up their claims? The industry body, the International Association of Managed Service Providers (MSP Alliance), has a certification standard (UCS) that is used to certify CSPs. Check if your cloud service provider is accredited by it.

10. Cost

Ultimately, it is all about the cost. Check for all the fees (one-time fees, monthly fees, usage fees, etc.) and make sure they are clearly spelled out in the contract.


Sarah Gardiner

All stories by: Sarah Gardiner