There are plenty of options to choose from when choosing a cloud vendor. Google, Mirosoft, Amazon and many more have some sort of cloud platform available. When deciding on a provider of cloud services – whether public, private or some hybrid of the two, remember that you have to look at a few main considerations.
- The Product – Is it easy to use? Does it really fill your business needs? How will it help you meet your business goals?
- The Cloud Provider – How stable is the cloud provider you’re considering? Have they been around for a while with plenty of customers – happy customers? Are they stable and secure as a company or a possible target for acquisition?
- The Transition – How difficult will the transition to your cloud provider be? Will you be able to get it done within your allotted timetable?
Once you’ve assembled your list of cloud providers start talking to them about some key questions around availability, security and customer service.
How reliably will the service be when you need it most? Downtime and latency could cost you valuable time with loss of productivity – potentially even business. When choosing a cloud vendor, it’s important to make sure that your cloud installation is backed up with a strong service agreement with your vendor. Make sure that your vendor understands that your service level expectations are going to remain the same to ensure your infrastructure’s performance.
There’s no question that one of the greatest concerns in cloud computing is still security. With high profile security breaches happening all over the world, you need to make sure that your data is secure when you’re choosing a cloud vendor. Does your vendor comply with all of the different compliance standards that pertain to your industry? Make sure to take physical security into account when reviewing your options as well. What happens if the data center hosting your cloud environment is leveled in a natural disaster? Make sure that, no matter what, your data remains secure and accessible.
At the end of the day, your decision in choosing a cloud vendor could very well come down to the level of comfort that you have with your vendor. You have to decide whom you would prefer to do business with based on the management team, the sales team and, most important to your day to day needs, the service team. When you call for support, are they available? How long does it take to get a return phone call? Are they willing to discuss the technology they’re using and offer candid discussions of downtime? Are your questions being answered?
There are plenty of ways to decide on the merit of a cloud vendor and the metrics that you use to decide on your cloud provider are your own decision but remember, if anything happens, you’ll be dealing with the support team so make sure that you put them through their paces.