How To Choose A Cloud Service Provider

Considering the capabilities and long-term benefits of cloud computing, organizations are embracing this business solution at an accelerated pace. That said, shifting your business to the cloud is easier said than done since it involves several phases. And among all decisions to be made during the process, picking the right cloud service provider is hands down the most important one.

The cloud computing market has grown exponentially in recent years. It is expected to reach $1,614.10 billion by 2030. Numbers also suggest that the cloud service providers are mushrooming right, left, and center. So how can you choose the best service provider out of so many options? To help you, we have narrowed down the top factors to consider when hunting for a cloud service provider:

  1. Technologies

The technologies of the cloud service provider should align with your current business setting and cloud goals. Does a service provider offer the architecture and service compatible with your workloads and the way you wish to manage them?

To ensure your workloads correspond with their platforms, determine how much re-coding or customization is necessary. A fair proportion of service providers offer all-encompassing migration services; some even help with the evaluation and planning stages.

2. Backup

Almost every service provider offers some form of data backup. Data backup speed and volume are critical considerations for businesses when evaluating cloud service providers. Working with a service provider that does not perform daily backups of your data will be a risk and a waste of time and money.

Most leading cloud service providers, such as JDE Cloud, offer a 30-day backup. Some of them even offer the customers to customize the duration. In addition, you should also look at the security of the backup mechanism and how to restore it if necessary.

3. Data security

Cloud-based data is just as vulnerable to malware and hacking attempts as local data. This is because modern-day hackers now use sophisticated tools and techniques to get about their dirty business. Although many users put their accounts at risk by misconfiguring cloud accounts, you should also be sure to choose a service that provides sufficient safety measures.

End-to-end encryption is the gold standard for cloud security. This is a zero-knowledge approach, implying that only your local device will encrypt and decrypt cloud-stored data. As a result, no one will be able to access or modify your cloud volume, not even your cloud service provider.

If you are not storing confidential information and believe end-to-end encryption is unnecessary, you should still select a service that provides reliable and basic cybersecurity measures. 

4. 24/7 Support

When using the cloud service, you are likely to face technical issues. That is where the availability of a customer support team can make or break the deal for you. Different cloud service providers offer varying degrees of customer support. For example, some providers offer free direct access to specialized help, while others only provide reactive support via phone or email.

The best way to avoid unpleasant surprises is to create a checklist of your technical support requirements. To be safe, if you also work after business hours, select a hosting company that offers unfettered support 24/7, including on weekends.

5. Location of data storage

The cloud is not a mysterious concept. Your information is not stored in cyberspace but at a real-world facility; the only method of transmission is via the internet. Before signing up with a cloud service provider, ask about their data storage location and policies.

If a provider stores your data in another country, the rules of that country may govern who can access the data and how it can be managed. Apart from that, you need to assess whether the place is susceptible to natural calamities such as tornadoes, earthquakes, storms, etc. In the event of a disaster, check whether or not the service providers have measures to secure and save your data.  

6. Pricing

The cost might be the ultimate deciding factor in your quest to find the best cloud service provider. Ultimately, it all comes down to the principle that your business should only pay for the resources it utilizes. Be wary of big upfront fees and lock-in agreements that are not typical of reputable cloud service providers.

Ideally, you should opt for the pay-as-you-go pricing structure, with the flexibility to include additional services in the future. Depending on the service provider, charges can be levied hourly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Costs can range widely, from as little as $1 per month per user to well over $100 per month.

7. Downtime history

During downtime, a service is effectively unavailable to its customers. Unfortunately, even the most well-known and well-reputed cloud service providers occasionally face outages. The fewer outages, the better the service since outages might disrupt your company’s operations.

Plus, the service provider must be open and upfront when problems occur. The provider’s suggestions for solutions and enhancements follow the same logic. As a result, you should look for providers who make their downtime logs available online. If these reports are missing, ask about the company’s downtime history.

8. Transparency

Cloud service providers contract with outside businesses to deliver certain services. In SaaS solutions, this type of dependency is commonplace. As a result, any disruption to the IaaS platform will almost certainly affect the SaaS apps operating atop it.

It is important to look into the service dependencies of the application that the SaaS cloud service provider is providing. Plus, also figure out if the third parties they are outsourcing have adequate infrastructure and competence to maintain acceptable levels of availability and security.

Conclusion

Cloud computing has been a hot topic in the IT world for quite some time now. It allows enterprises to access servers, storage, databases, and other application services over the internet. And thus, rather than asking, “Should we use the cloud?” business owners are instead asking, “Which cloud provider should we use?” You can use this article as a walkthrough to help you choose the right cloud service provider.