Once you make up your mind to shift to cloud computing, another crucial step is to identify a cloud service provider. From market giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google to some smaller players offering the cloud service, we tell you how to choose which service provider works best with your company requirements.
While selecting a cloud provider, you must keep in mind the company requirements as the evaluation criteria will be unique to every organization. However, there are some common criteria by which you can assess any cloud provider and come to a conclusion as to which one to choose.
Following are the points, considering which you can effectively choose the service providers out of the innumerable options available in the market.
- Certifications and Standards
A Cloud service provider which comply with the recognized industry standards and quality frameworks, display the devotion towards following best practices and standards.
These standards and certifications like ISO 27001 or any government certification may not help you finalize the service provider, but they surely help in short listing the best ones.
- Technologies and Service Roadmap
You must ensure that the provider is updated with the latest and preferred technologies which align with your company requirements and expectations from the cloud server.
Also, the provider must follow a proper service roadmap that fits with your long-term needs like the new innovations from time to time. It would be beneficial to evaluate the complete portfolio of the service that the provider.
- Data Management and Information Security
Data security is a big concern when moving to the cloud computing. You must look for the providers that follow all the data sensitivity and data encryption protocols, at the same time remain transparent about the data center locations, giving you choice and control on how and where your data is stored.
Also, check how the provider notifies about any data loss/breach and ensure that it is in terms of your company’s risk-bearing capacity and legal obligations.
Also, make sure that the levels of data and system security and security operations performed by the cloud provider are in accordance with your own security policies and processes. If the cloud provider has recognized certification for information security, ensure that they are valid.
- Vendor Relationships and Service Dependencies
Providing a cloud service isn’t a one-man job. It requires a complex network of connected components and partnerships.
It is helpful to assess the kind of relationship that the provider has with vendors, their accreditation levels, and technical capabilities and staff certifications in order to check whether the other services can compliment or support your business goal in the long term.
Also, it is crucial that the provider discloses these relationship and service dependencies along with the limitations of liabilities and service disruption policies (which may occur because of these subcontractors) in the primary Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
- Reliability and Performance
It is another important aspect to measure the reliability of a service provider. This can be done by checking their performance against their SLAs for the last 6-12 months. This information must be provided by the service provider.
Make sure that the provider has documented cases of successfully dealing with inevitable downtime. Also be aware of the solutions and remedies the cloud provider offers whenever any service issue arises.
- Vendor Lock-In, Migration Support and Exit Planning
Vendor lock-in is the situation when a customer is stuck to the single provider because of the use of proprietary technology, making it almost impossible to switch to another competent provider.
Choose a provider which uses minimal proprietary technology, making it smooth for you to migrate from one provider to another.
Also, ensure that you have clear exit provisions right from the start of your contract. It isn’t easy to shift from a cloud provider. You need to consider how you will access data, in what state and how long the provider will keep it before you make a transition to another cloud provider.
There are several other factors that you must consider before choosing the Cloud Server Provider. Apart from the above-mentioned criterions, you must also look into the customer reviews and testimonials (if any).
Have an optimistic approach to avoid lock-in and a properly defined exit strategy will avoid a lot of conflicts in the future.
Take your time to draft practical SLAs and legal terms and conditions as they assure that the services will be delivered as agreed.