Once your organisation has made the decision to switch over to the cloud for a complete data storage service choosing the right cloud service provider is an equally important decision one has to make. This is simply because there is a huge amount of critical and sensitive data pertaining to your company that would be stored in the cloud. While the cloud proves to be a cost-effective data storage option and offers scalability over traditional data storage methods since you are, now relying on an external agency you do forego some level of control.
So, while you prepare for the big move to a cloud platform, here are some important questions you should ask or evaluate the cloud service providers before signing a service-level agreement.
Since we are dealing with important organisation related data this is the perhaps the most important question that needs to be asked. It is but obvious that any cloud storage providers will vouch for their solutions as the safest, it is; however, best to look for certain industry standards such as the PCI DSS – Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or SAS 70. These do not always guarantee total security, but it certainly is the basic parameter to judge the provider’s capability.
Service Agreement and Data Ownership
This is the key feature of every service-level agreement. Since the cloud storage service providers take the onus to store your data, it is a thumb rule that one has the ownership of the data in writing. You would also want to set a few rules in case the data is compromised and who can access the data. There are cloud service providers who give the complete ownership of access to the organisation and offer high-level encrypted data access.
Flexibility of Service
One of the major benefits of the cloud is scalability based on requirement and demand. This is especially important for organizations, as they are bound to experience growth and the levels of services required, may increase over a period of time. It is important to seek for a cloud storage provider can offer you flexibility and match up to the requirements of your organisations in the long run. It would be helpful if the provider can offer you a structure for future requirements.
Every service in the IT Industry at some point or the other experience a downtime – the time during when the systems are unavailable for use. IT downtime can be very a very costly affair, so it is imperative that a check is done on the cloud service provider’s downtime history. While every provider would have, some downtime history, however, it is definitely worth a check so that you are assured that this is not a recurring problem with the provider.
Although one cannot find a cloud service provider with the perfect record, however, it would save your organisation from loss of revenue and get you a better level of service if the above-mentioned areas are carefully evaluated before making a decision.