Over the past decade cloud storage has become arguably the best way for businesses to store and organize their data. However, many aspects of Cloud Computing still come off as a foreign language to the average business owner. It is important that when shopping for a provider, that business owners know exactly who they are trusting with their data and how it is being managed. While not all cloud providers are the same, there are certain aspects of service that every business should look for when shopping. Here are the five key attributes to look for in a good provider that will ensure you the best service for your money:
1. Good Reputation
Do some research on a potential provider by surfing IT forums and seeking out testimonials. Take a good look at the clients they serve, particularly those whose business is of a similar niche or size as your own.
2. Proper Security
Make sure you fully understand the ins and outs of their security procedures. How is your data guarded both virtually and physically? Where are the data centers of the provider located and how well are they protected? Always be aware of who has access to your business both within your company and with the provider.
3. Service Level Agreement (SLA)
A Service Level Agreement or SLA is an essential part of the contract that states the conditions on which certain standards of service will be met. It is a legal contract that allows you to hold the provider accountable for any loss or compromise of data that occurs while performing their duties. Make sure you review this carefully and make sure is set to suit the needs of your business in every way possible.
4. Adequate Storage
Storage capacity is one of the most important aspects of a Cloud provider. Certain companies provide storage space at different rates. Some allow you access to unlimited storage and only charge you for what you use. Make sure you sign on for an amount of space that is both affordable and allows room for realistic growth of your company in the foreseeable future.
Always seek out a provider with 24/7 support and a track record of good service that can usually be found with minimal research. Aim for a company that has equal response time for small or critical problems. While most companies will not have weekend shifts, they should have proper personnel on-call and ready to assist you within a certain timeframe in case of an emergency.
Certain business might seek out special services of a cloud provider but these five are the essential aspects that every business owner should consider before signing on. Always consider your options, take full advantage of any free trials of technology the providers allow you, and make a decision that will provide your business with the resources it needs to continue to grow and prosper.
Reanna Gutierrez is a writer and marketing consultant who has been in the IT industry for almost ten years now. She enjoys helping young businesses grow through the use of IT managed services and effectively conducting business online. Follow her on twitter!