Seeking a Cloud Provider? Be Sure to Ask These Questions!
Choosing the right cloud provider is an important decision. In order to truly leverage the benefits of the cloud, it’s important to understand a provider’s security, privacy and operational capabilities. Be sure to do your due diligence by asking potential providers several key questions to make sure they can meet all of your needs.
Here are 6 questions to help you reach an educated decision.
- Where are your data centers? Your data may be stored in several different geographic locations. You need to know where, and make sure it meets your needs, goals, and any privacy concerns. Understanding where data is stored can help you understand and evaluate risk and benefits around privacy.
- How do I access my data? Since your data is stored offsite, make sure your provider offers an Access Control Policy that gives you data access when you need it.
- What about monitoring and maintenance? A good provider should offer comprehensive monitoring tools. A monitoring system will always let the provider know when their system needs maintenance. It should also include anti-virus, hardware, software, security patching and disk space. Audit trails are essential and should also be included.
- Do they offer two-factor authentication? Security should be a primary concern. Firewalls, data-encryption and anti-virus protection may not be enough. A two-factor authentication process offers both a password and a synchronized secure code. This can significantly minimize risk as the secure code is delivered via smartphone.
- What about disaster recovery? To protect against a natural disaster ask if your provider provides multiple location redundancy in case one node fails. They should be able to show you a viable disaster recovery plan. Know in advance where your data will reside in the event of failure, and security taken to protect their data centers.
- What about cancelling services? Sometimes things just don’t work out. Make sure you know in advance the process to follow during cancellation as well as if they offer assistance for transferring data to your new provider. Have the procedure clearly outlined before you sign any contract.
These questions can help you find, assess and select the perfect cloud services provider. If you already have a provider, these questions can help you update your agreement. Contact an Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office representative today for a free technology assessment and let us help you find the perfect cloud services to meet your needs.