Looking to make your business cloudy?

IT has become an essential component of business. Without systems that meet business needs, a company will likely fail, or certainly struggle to stay in the black. As such, IT spending is predicted to reach USD$3.7 billion in 2013. Much of this spending will be on improving existing systems and adoption of cloud services. Is your company looking to get a little cloudy this year?

Here are five things you should ask cloud service providers when looking to make the move to the cloud.

  1. Is your service compatible with my existing systems? As a small or medium business, you likely don’t have the funds to do a one-time, full transition into the cloud. This means, that it would be a good idea to ask cloud providers if their systems are compatible with yours and if you will be able to easily migrate your data over. Beyond that, you should also ask if you can get your systems off the cloud.
  2. How does your data security work? Security of data in the cloud is always a top issue for all businesses. Before committing, It’s a good idea to get a picture of where exactly your data will be stored, who has access to it and the  level of storage security.
  3. What is your performance and availability? Numerous outages affecting cloud services happened in 2012. While few lasted more than half a day, this got many questioning just how stable the cloud is. When talking to cloud providers you should ask them what their uptime guarantees are and if their cloud is scalable – if you need more computing resources, are they available?
  4. What is your support policy? As you will likely not be hosting a cloud server in your office, you will be at the whim of the provider. It’s advisable to suss out their support policy, such as whether they have a dedicated emergency contact and the general response time to issues and enquiries.
  5. How does your fee structure work? Finally, ask about the fee structure the provider uses. Most cloud operators offer numerous pricing schemes that companies can take advantage of.

Finding the right cloud service for your company can be a long and often tough task. Asking the right questions, comparing what different providers say and finally comparing the findings against your needs, should help you find the perfect provider. If you’re interested in learning more about cloud services and how they can be employed in your business, why not start with us? We may have the perfect solution for you. Give us a call today.

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