There’s no question that cloud computing is on the rise. More and more businesses are turning to cloud computing as their default setting. But with so many options to choose from, how do you select the right provider for your business?
Here are seven critical questions you should ask when choosing a cloud computing provider.
1. What cloud computing services do you provide?
There are many different types of cloud services such as a public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud. If you already know what type of service you want, your first step is to make sure your potential provider offers that service.
More than likely, though, you know you want to move to the cloud, but aren’t sure which type of service would work best for you. A good cloud computing provider should not only be able to explain the services they offer, but help you to determine which cloud computing services would best meet the needs of your business.
2. How secure is your cloud computing?
Security should be at the top of any list when data and networking is concerned.
Cloud security, just like network security, ensures your data stays safe. Ask potential providers what network and server-level security measures they have in place to protect your data. Security measures to look for include encryption, firewalls, antivirus detection and multifactor user authentication.
3. Where will my data be stored?
Since cloud computing involves the storage of data at off-site locations, the physical location and security of those data centers is just as important as online security.
SSAE 16 and SOC 2 Type II certifications are the best indicator that your provider’s products, systems and data are compliant with industry security standards.
4. How will my business be able to access the cloud?
One of the benefits of cloud computing is its flexibility and ease of access. You’ll want you understand how you will be able to access your data on the cloud and how it will integrate into your current work environment.
If your company is poised to grow in the near future, you may also want to ask about scalability and your provider’s ability to meet your growing needs.
5. What is your pricing structure?
Pricing for cloud computing can vary greatly, so make sure you understand how and for what you will be charged.
Ask about upfront costs and the ability to add services as needed. Will services be charged hourly, monthly, semi-annually, or annually?
6. How do you handle regulatory compliance?
Understanding the many laws and regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCCI, that pertain to the collection and storage of data can be intimidating. That’s why one of the benefits of hiring a cloud computing provider is having security experts take care of regulatory compliance for you.
You’ll want to make sure your provider is constantly working to stay up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations that may affect your data.
7. What customer support services do you offer?
Cloud computing never sleeps and neither should your provider’s technical support. Getting help when you need it is important, so you’ll want to ask your provider if they provide 24-hour technical support, including on holidays.
Ease and availability of reporting problems is also important so ask about phone, email, and live chat support options. You may also want to ask about your provider’s average response and resolution times.
Asking these questions can help you find the right cloud computing provider for your business. And getting the right answers is only a phone call away—call your managed IT services provider to start the process today.
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