6 things to consider when choosing a cloud services provider

6 things to consider when choosing a cloud services provider

Businesses that haven’t migrated to the cloud are quickly becoming the minority, and it’s easy to see why. The cloud makes saving money, increasing productivity, and giving people remote work privileges easier than ever. Anyone who hasn’t realized these benefits is sorely missing out.

When your office starts to look like this, you should probably migrate to the cloud.

But deciding whether to move to the cloud is a no-brainer; the real challenge is selecting a suitable cloud services provider (CSP). If you want to make the right decision, consider the following:

Certifications

While certifications don’t fully determine if a provider is compatible with your business, it does separate the wheat from the chaff. Look for providers with certifications that align with your industry and business requirements.

For example, if your healthcare organization needs a highly secure cloud platform, look for providers accredited with ISO 27001 and HIPAA certifications. These prove that your cloud provider adheres to industry best practices and uses cutting-edge technologies to ensure the safety of protected health information (PHI).

Finance and reputation

Speaking of research, don’t forget to vet your providers. Ask them for financial statements or proof that their business won’t suddenly go belly up as soon as you migrate to their data centers. Your provider should have a good track record of stability and is capable of supporting your business in the long run.

“Don’t worry, this park bench is just a temporary home. My company’s not in trouble or anything.”

In addition to financial health, it is just as important to evaluate their reputation and satisfaction rate with current and previous clients. Unfortunately, there’s no Yelp for CSPs, so you’ll have to scour through testimonials and review forums to find out whether they actually walk the talk. Better yet, you should interview the provider’s clients to hear their honest opinions.

Service levels

The most important thing to consider when choosing a CSP is the service level agreement (SLA). This is a contract that defines the services, response times, capacity, deliverables, and availability you can expect from your provider.

A standard SLA should specify how issues are identified and resolved, and who is responsible for fixing them. It should also highlight a provider’s security framework, as in what systems they’re using to prevent cyberattacks and data loss. The best CSPs offer 24/7 service, proactive monitoring, minimum uptime guarantees, and some form of compensation if they aren’t able to meet their end of the agreement.

Infrastructure

Cloud migration is more seamless when your CSP understands your current infrastructure. For example, if your organization has always used Microsoft Office, it makes sense to opt for a cloud provider specializing in Office 365. Not only will the migration process go off without a hitch, but they will also give expert advice so you and your employees can make the most out the platform.

Vendor lock-in

Vendor lock-in is the result of deploying proprietary technologies that are incompatible with other systems, making it impossible to migrate away from the provider. To avoid this, you need a provider who’s open to negotiating an exit strategy.

“It’s not you. We just want to see other providers.”

Another way to reduce the risk of vendor lock-in is by checking your provider’s cloud offerings. If their apps are inflexible and can’t integrate with other third-party software, that’s a bad sign.

Pricing

The cost plays a huge role in finding a CSP. That’s why you should closely inspect each provider’s pricing plans before subscribing to a service, and compare them against other companies. Ideally, you want someone who offers low fixed monthly fees that allow your business to easily scale your IT up and down.

Having trouble finding a CSP? Red Key Solutions is a leading cloud services provider in New York that goes above and beyond for our customers. Just contact us today so we can prove it to you!