Ensuring that you are selecting the right cloud providers is something that has now become critical to long-term success given that more and more IT systems are now externalized.
But with a myriad of cloud service providers offering services, the available market is really vast and picking the right service provider from so many can be a daunting task. While you should be guided by procurement and selection process that is appropriately weighted towards the unique set of needs of your organization, there are important factors that you should always consider when selecting cloud service provider. Check them out!
- Standards and certifications
Cloud providers that comply with the industry recognized quality frameworks and standards demonstrate adherence to the industry standards and best practices. Even though standards might not necessarily determine which cloud service provider you settle for, they can be extremely helpful when shortlisting potential providers.
More generally, you should look out for effective data management, structured processes, service status visibility and good knowledge management. Besides, understand how the supplier plans to resources as well as support continuous adherence to all these standards.
- Performance and reliability
There are more than a few methods to use to measure how reliable a cloud service provider is. First, check the service provider’s general performance against its SLAS for the last one year or 6 moths. Even if the service provider doesn’t publish this information, they should supply it to you if you ask for it.
Well, do not expect perfection because downtime is inevitable and each service provider experiences it at some point. What matters the most is how they deal with downtimes. Ensure that the reporting and monitoring tools on offer can effectively integrate into your overall reporting and management systems.
Look to understand clearly the disaster recovery provisions of the provider, the processes, and their general ability to support fully your data preservation expectations. Check backup, scheduling, integrity checks, restore, and data sources as well as criticalness of data.
- Company profile and business health
Assessing the financial health as well as the profiles of all the potential cloud service providers in your list is definitely very important. The most competitive or compatible supplier is inconsequential if the provider does not have a sound business. Ensure that your main cloud service provider is a good fit especially for the long term. A great service provider should be in a healthy financial position and should also have a track record of stability. It should have sufficient capital that can enable it to successfully operate over the long term.
- Data security and governance
It’s necessary that you have a clear data classification scheme in place which defines kinds of data based on policies and, or sensitivity on data residency. You should at least be aware of data privacy or regulatory rules that govern personal and business data. With that information in mind, the local laws your data is subject to, and the exact location in which it resides, should be main part of the selection process. Look for cloud service providers that are able to give you control and choice concerning the jurisdiction in which your data is processed, stored, and managed.