Once you’ve decided to move your business operations like email and file storage to the cloud, it is imminent that the cloud will cut your costs, provide better workflow and eliminate the need for in-house IT personnel and finally, reduce hardware. The most important benefit for small companies is the ability to focus on the business at hand and let the cloud service provider handle such tedious IT issues like security, backup, maintenance, and support. It’s about time you learn how they function so you can rely on the one that will keep your company’s data safe.
By asking the questions listed below, you can quickly figure out the best cloud service provider for you.
1. What cloud computing services do you provide?
This is the most crucial question of all. With this one, you can easily weed out several providers from your list. After all, if they don’t provide the services you need, they won’t be a good fit. So, if you are looking for an end-to-end SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) management suite, and a service provider doesn’t offer that, you can stop asking further questions and discard them from your list.
2. How secure is your service?
Countless cyberattacks have been occurring daily, which is why online security is an important factor when choosing a cloud provider. Always look for cloud providers who have several cybersecurity measures in place. MFA (multifactor authentication), data encryption, firewalls, intrusion detection, and prevention systems are essential. Also, make sure the cloud provider constantly updates its measures to prevent any form of cyberattack.
3. Where is our data stored?
You need to make sure that your data is being held in an up-to-date data center. This ensures both reliability and performance as you access their services. If a provider has a fall-back data center or two, it’s a major bonus. That way, if there’s a problem (power loss, earthquake, flood) at the primary data center, your services will be shifted to the secondary data center with little to no interruption on your end.
4. Do you perform timely backups and how quickly can you do a restore when needed?
Backup and restore is a crucial cloud computing functionality. If your data gets erased, corrupted, or even becomes a victim of ransomware, the best solution would be to restore a recent backup. The older the backup, the more you end up losing. Ask how long it takes to have a restore done because you don’t want to wait days to be back in business.
5. What are your prices?
It is advisable to not immediately sign up for the cheapest cloud provider. They might not provide you with the kind of services you’re looking for. But that doesn’t mean you choose the most expensive provider either. When in doubt, compare the services these providers are offering side by side against the prices of the same.
6. What service level agreements (SLA) do you offer?
Cloud service providers must have an SLA that defines the services customers can expect from them. It should include the numbers by which the provider’s service is measured and penalties if any agreed-upon service is not met. Make sure to go through a cloud provider’s SLA before deciding to sign any agreements.
7. How easy is it to manage the services?
Most small enterprises have small IT teams. Many don’t have them at all which is why being able to easily manage their services is an important factor in selecting a provider. A lot of the cloud providers out there offer consolidated services management functionality and that helps a small business do more with less.
8. How flexible are these services?
The ability to add capacity and services as they’re needed and remove them when they are no longer required is one of the biggest advantages of cloud computing. This flexibility will save your small business’ money by enabling it to run short-term projects without having to permanently purchase hardware and software licenses. Make sure your cloud provider offers this capability, you might need it later if not now.
9. Can you consolidate all my service charges into a single bill?
To make the job of your finance team easy; in a single bill, you could get an overall view of the services you have opted for.
In the case of flexible consumption model (like in the question above), it will make it easy to see if you’re paying for services you no longer require or if you’re planning to purchase more services.
10. Can you provide references?
Last but not the least it is very important to ask the cloud provider to let you talk to their current customers without the provider being present. Do not take the cloud provider’s word for how good their services are.
The questions above will ease and quicken the process of choosing the best cloud service provider for your business. Once a provider passes this set of questions, feel free to ask for more technical specifications. Do not stop asking until you’re satisfied that a provider is the right fit for your business.
Yes, we at SNDK Corp provide both cloud monitoring and cloud migration services.
SNDK Corp is a certified AWS Consulting partner. We can help you easily migrate your SaaS and IaaS products to AWS