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Has your business been considering moving to the cloud for storage and file-sharing capabilities? If you’ve started shopping around, you’ll know that the market is flooded with providers, all offering different packages and solutions. This article outlines a few of the key things to look for in your provider, whether you’re interested in a free lower security solution or need to invest in a security-heavy solution like YourDigitalFile.com.
Security and Privacy
Everyone knows that security and privacy are important considerations for any cloud-based solution. These should be major concerns any time you access or store data online, especially if it relates to the personal information of your customers or clients. It can be hard to look beyond the technical jargon and marketing speak to determine just how seriously each provider takes these issues. There are two simple ways to check their overall approach though. A quality provider will meet the global ISO 27001 standard for data centre security and the ISO 27002 controls for security policies and standards. If your provider doesn’t meet these standards, keep on looking.
Because the industry is experiencing significant growth, many new businesses are emerging to try to take advantage of the opportunity. However, cloud platforms are not the sort of product or service that can be developed and delivered overnight. Investigate your cloud provider’s track record. Do they have a history of supplying to businesses of your size and scope? Do they have any large information technology companies as clients? Some providers will be able to provide references for their services on request.
In information technology circles, enterprise class is a descriptor for applications and platforms that are reliable, powerful, and scalable—suitable for rollout in both small and large businesses. While it may be more expensive, an enterprise class cloud storage provider will ultimately provide the best return on investment for your business. These providers can easily scale their solution to match your growth, provide excellent customer service, and have a range of advanced features ready to implement when you require—everything from user-configurable firewalls to image cloning.
Your cloud provider is delivering a service, and as with any other service provider, they should be accountable to certain key performance indicators or guarantees. When comparing, look for guarantees around uptime and customer service. An uptime guarantee outlines how often the provider expects the cloud system to crash or be unavailable. If your business uses the cloud frequently, look for a provider that guarantees less than one hour of downtime each month. The customer service guarantee outlines how quickly and easily the provider can provide support. Most providers advertise a 24-hour turnaround, but ensure that this is written into the contract, not just the marketing collateral. Don’t just take the providers at their word on guarantees. Ask how they arrived at their key performance indicators, how often they meet them, and what procedures are in place to improve performance.
Security, privacy, track record, and guarantees are just a few of the major concerns you need to take into consideration when selecting a cloud storage solution. Once you’ve found a provider that meets your expectations, you’ll also need to ensure that the price, storage capability, and user license fits with your business plan.
Have you recently implemented a cloud storage solution? What would you recommend other businesses look for in their providers? We’d love to hear your insights.