How do you choose a cloud provider?

What should you be looking for when choosing your cloud provider? There is a lot involved and to make it easier Equiinet can help when choosing cloud services.

Why should you move to the cloud?

The cloud is a great place to store work, email and documents. It can easily be accessed at remote locations or on different devices such as your desktop at home, laptop at work or phone. The cloud also is a great way for employees to collaborate together. The cloud takes care of concerns you would otherwise have like backup, maintenance and security. It can save you money and time. But the process of getting moved is not so easy.

What should you be looking for?

What are your cloud needs? Do you need a place to store data, documents and photos? Do you need to do your accounting in the cloud? Are you looking for a relational database for your customers? Or a customer relationship management (CRM) program? Do you need something more complex, computing services, access to virtual servers, software, applications? Make a list of what you need and then be sure these needs will be met.

Cost

Be sure to find out what the upfront costs and the continuing costs are for your cloud. If you add services, will there be additional costs? Will you make payments daily, weekly, or monthly?

Security

Ask about security. Make sure they have security measures in place. Security of your documents and company information is very important. You may talk about virus detection, firewalls, data encryption, security audits and multifactor user authentication. Also, there may be the consideration of government compliance depending on the industry you are in. Where are the servers stored? Are the servers in a safe place that cannot be accessed easily from an outsider? Can the server withstand floods, earthquakes and fires?

Loss of data

What happens if data is lost? Is there a backup? Is there compensation for lost data?

Services

What services are included? Are services available 24-7 and on holidays? What are the response times when services are request?

Scaling of cloud

What if your company grows? Is there the capability to grow? How much will it cost?

History of outages

What is the history of the company’s downtime? Cloud outages can cause problems for your company. Are they down a lot?

Set up and access

How do you get setup with the cloud provider? How do you access the cloud? Can you use your laptop, phone, iPad and desktop?

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