Before you sign up with a cloud service provider, you need to ask some key questions to determine whether they can provide the level of service your business needs. In particular, you need to ask about the uptime, scalability and security that your chosen provider is able to offer. Let’s take a look at why each of these factors matters when choosing a cloud computing service and how you can assess potential providers.
When Was Your Last Cloud Outage and How Long Did It Last?
When you store your important data in the cloud and use cloud-based software in your organization, a cloud outage can leave your employees unable to do any useful work. You need to know how much downtime you can expect from your cloud computing provider.
Ask all potential providers about their last cloud-wide outage; they should be able to tell you exactly when it occurred, how long it lasted and what they did to restore service to their customers. Avoid providers who cannot or refuse to provide this information, as failing to answer this question suggests that a provider doesn’t regard reliability as a priority. Compare responses from several different providers to find the one that has the best record of ensuring consistent uptime.
Can I Scale Up My Service Plan If My Business Grows?
When you sign up with a cloud computing provider, you need to specify how much storage space you need for all your business data and how many software licenses you need for your employees. As your business grows, your original cloud computing plan may no longer provide the level of service you need.
Ask providers what options they offer for scaling up your service to match your business growth. Can you add or remove services from your plan as your business needs change? If your business falls on hard times and has to downsize, can you scale back your cloud services without penalty? You never know what events are waiting around the corner for your business to run into, so it makes sense to choose a plan that offers plenty of flexibility.
What Steps Do You Take to Keep Data Secure?
With many businesses falling victim to data breaches, many organizations are rightly concerned about handing over control of their sensitive data to a cloud provider. You need to ensure that you choose an AS400 expert cloud service provider that keeps up-to-date with the latest security developments.
Asking about security is particularly important if you are required to comply with industry regulations, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which requires organizations in the healthcare sector to meet strict regulations designed to keep medical data secure.
It is important to ask these questions before you choose a cloud service provider. Waiting until after you have signed on the dotted line could lead to your business paying out a lot of money to break your contract and find a more suitable service.
William Noble has worked in cloud computing for the last couple of years, and has a background in programming. He writes tech and business related articles in his free time.