In the first part of this two-part post we set out to identify the first and best rule in partnering with a cloud provider. And, strangely enough, it’s not always technology that you should measure a cloud partner by, but rather the degree of trust you’re able to establish (and sustain) with that vendor. To continue along that vein, I present the balance of the ten best practices as defined by Gil Allouche, writing in Virtual Strategy Magazine.
6. Make sure that the Service Provider can Serve Your Company
The cloud provider’s IT support capabilities are going to make all the difference. They need to have enough IT sense to provide you guidance through the pitfalls that are sure to come. Your success and satisfaction with a company’s product should be their number one concern. Make sure you hire a company where that’s the case.
7. Get Going with a Company that will Keep You Mobile
A company’s database of information changes and grows quickly. Data that’s relevant today may not be tomorrow. As a company you need to have the flexibility to move, analyze, archive and delete data at times that best serves you and your clients. It’s paramount that your service provider, or your private cloud, have the infrastructure established to allow for the quick, easy and often transfer of data. Your cloud provider needs to enable you to do that efficiently and as often as needed.
8. Ensure Cloud Safety
It doesn’t matter who you use as your cloud provider, you’ve got to keep tabs on the cloud safety. Simply being in the cloud doesn’t mean your data is automatically safe. It’s going to take a significant effort to keep it in the right hands. Not only would a loss eliminate thousands of hours of work, it could also compromise sensitive information. Your company’s well-being will be, in part, determined by how well the data is protected. This is especially true for small businesses, where a security breach might cause bankruptcy. Finding a company that has strict safety standards is a must for success.
9. Keep Things Simple
There are numerous different things that you can look at when evaluating a potential service provider. What’s important, though, is that the provider can fulfill your company’s needs at a price you can afford along with the ability to grow. Trust the idea that you have for your company and then find a company whose cloud services fit into that plan. Because there are so many different providers out there, finding one that will fit into your business plan and objectives should be very attainable. Not to oppose cloud companies that are new to the game, but you could save yourself thousands of dollars and hours by going with a company that’s already well established. Keeping things simple in the beginning will allow you to get your footing and then you can innovate and grow from there.
10. Have a Backup Plan and an Emergency Recovery Plan
Unexpected events are going to happen to your company. Be ready for them. Make plans for what will happen if the cloud is shutdown, paused or delayed for any reason. Just because it’s the cloud, doesn’t mean it’s invincible — there will be delays. Decide what the protocol is for security breaches or IT stoppages. If possible, determine ways to recover lost data before the need ever arises. Have plans put in place to keep your company running as smoothly as possible, no matter the situation that arises. Providing backup and recovery measures will keep the stress levels low and the confidence high for your company.
So, what is the take-away for your business? Simply this: if you trust your data, trust the provider who protects it. In fact, trust it to a provider that can make your data invincible.