Whether you are tapping the cloud to improve your customer service or bolster internal collaboration, you should do some homework before engaging any cloud solution provider. Here are the top four questions to ask:
1. Where is my data center located?
Countries with strict data sovereignty laws may prohibit companies in regulated sectors (like banking and government) from hosting sensitive data outside their jurisdictions .
To comply with these data regulations, ensure your cloud hosting provider stores data in a data center in your home country. Pair this with a solid business continuity plan that permits access to applications and data even in the midst of power outages or hardware failures.
2. How is my data protected?
Given the rising rate of cyberattacks against organizations , your cloud service provider must implement all necessary measures to protect your data. Beyond simply knowing that your data will be encrypted by your service provider, you should learn what type of encryption technologies they use, and the level of encryption they offer.
3. How clear are the costs?
Companies embrace cloud services’ subscription-based pricing, as it removes the need to make large upfront investments in technology. But that’s assuming the service provider is fully transparent with its pricing structure, such as detailing the amount to pay if your requirements change. These may include fees for additional storage or change in the number of users.
4. What cloud model will be used?
Does the cloud service provider provide public, private or hybrid solutions? Each delivers different benefits.
A private cloud model lets you access an instance of an application or server that is dedicated to your organization, while retaining the advantages of a public cloud, such as scalability and self-service. A hybrid cloud model, on the other hand, lets you host applications and servers in-house, and tap public cloud resources during peak business periods.