Cloud computing platform and cloud service providers are popping up at every corner in the modern digital world, which means that the standard is rising with each passing year, but also that finding the ideal vendor for your business needs can be a cumbersome task. Between the choices of name brands versus the innovative up-and-coming companies with a lot to prove and even more to offer, deciding on the best fit will inevitably be a complex and nuanced process in which there can be no room for mistake.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t several tried-and-tested methods to figure out which provider deserves your money, and which providers you should stay away from. With that in mind, here are the five key considerations that will help you choose the right cloud computing platform for your business.
1. Assess the provider’s track record
First things first, if the provider doesn’t have a positive track record of satisfied customers, you should move on to the next prospect on your list. Assessing the vendor’s true reputation and capabilities in the competitive market will be instrumental in making the best cost-effective decision for your company in the long run. You can use the three key criteria to determine whether or not the provider is worth the investment.
Firstly, find out if the vendor offers comprehensive support in terms of management and customer service. Does the vendor have a positive customer service record after the sale of the product, or have the customers reported being abandoned after the purchase? Next, determine whether or not your company’s objectives align with the vision of the provider, and finally, consider how many other companies the vendor has worked with in order to determine their true capabilities and reputation.
Recommended for you: Cloud Security: 5 Things You Need To Know.
2. Determine availability and resiliency
Nowadays, almost every cloud service provider offers continuous availability with minimal downtime, typically ranging between 99.98 and 99.99 percent. And good thing that they are, as the modern consumer expects nothing less for their investment. However, you need to be wary as to how many of these providers are actually telling the truth.
Some of the vendors out there simply lack the mechanisms and methods to verify their own claims and instead act on industry trends and consumer demands alone, all the time doing their best to keep the system up and running on a continuous basis. This is not good enough. So conduct your own research and review the uptime statements as well as the vendor’s outage history, paying close attention to their data recovery and protection score in the process.
3. Don’t compromise on security
The level of data protection the vendor offers should be one of the biggest considerations when you’re searching for cloud service providers, as there can be no compromise when it comes to storing and safeguarding sensitive data such as customer information, core business processes, and employee data. The vendor you choose should offer a comprehensive data protection system along with proper compliance with the governing laws and regulations regarding online data protection.
If you are building your own cloud, make sure to choose a private cloud provider who offers minimalist infrastructure that is simple to operate. As technology continues to develop, cloud computing no longer has to rely on complex traditional infrastructures so you can easily find simplified platforms that both offer a high level of security and are easy to navigate.
4. Ensure the provider uses the latest technology
The cloud computing industry is constantly evolving and changing in accordance with the latest technological trends, as well as the latest demands of the consumer market. Not only should your provider offer the best of the best in terms of their product range, but they should also display a proactive business model that emphasizes the early integration of innovative tech.
This will allow you to always remain one step ahead of the game, prevent nefarious attacks on your system, ensure stellar performance and continuous up-time, and more. Be sure to research the provider’s technical capabilities in terms of customer support and management as well in order to assess the true level of service they offer.
5. Assess the level of support the provider offers
Speaking of service and support, you need to be able to rely on your service provider to resolve all issues efficiently and effectively at a moment’s notice. What’s more, consider how much in terms of training and education the vendor provides to clients – this will tell you if you will have to learn the ropes yourself or if you will enjoy the level of support you deserve.
Ask the provider about their brand-consumer communication policies in order to find out which methods of communication they use, their average response time, and level of success. Perhaps your vendor will require you to file a formal inquiry that they will address “as soon as possible”, while another will offer complete 24/7 chat and phone support. The latter is an obvious choice in this scenario, so be sure to assess the level of support you’re getting for your investment before you make a final decision.
You may also like: Moving Small Businesses to Clouds - It is a Good Time to Move.
In a sea of similar cloud service providers, finding the diamond in the rough, that one provider that will be able to address all of your needs in an efficient and effective way might seem like an insurmountable task. Nevertheless, you can definitely narrow down your search and even find your ideal vendor by simply taking these essential considerations to heart.
This article is written by David Webb. He is a Sydney-based business consultant and writer. With a decade of experience in a business sphere and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is an Editor in Chief at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.