5 Qualities to Look For in a Cloud Provider

The Soup

Cloud computing is growing exponentially, which has unfortunately led businesses with little to no Cloud computing experience to jump on the bandwagon. Any Cloud provider can promise you "we can do that," but the truth is that a lot of them are new to the field, unequipped, or unqualified to give your business the proper service that a successful migration to Cloud computing requires. This leaves you doing all the research and evaluation before choosing a provider, which is crucial because your provider can make or break your business.

Why Does Your Provider Matter?

With the right Cloud provider, your business can solve real problems, create internal economies of scale, and receive the full benefits of switching to Cloud, while the wrong provider can mean the exact opposite. We all have choices. The beauty of Cloud computing is it’s easy to adopt, but don't make the mistake of trusting an unqualified provider when it comes to adoption.  

How do you determine which Cloud providers are worth their salt? We've broken down five key qualities to seek out.  

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5 Qualities to Look for in a Cloud Provider

 

1. They Have Experience, Expertise, and Availability

Knowledge and experience make all the difference. Watch out for companies that only look good on paper. Likewise, just because they are a dominant player does not necessarily mean their solution is appropriate for you and your business. Your business could be different from all their other users. Be sure to ask questions and request references or evidence of how the vendor has solved your specific problems. Do they have the experience with this particular application you are hosting? The right tools and technical skills? Equally important is making sure they have the availability, time, and willingness to support your business model.

2. They Have a Full Cloud Portfolio and Are Compliant with Industry Standards

Your provider should offer complimentary services that are appropriate for you, and have demonstrated that their services are core to their offering, rather than simply offering it on the side. Trustworthy Cloud providers should also be compliant with industry standards, including HIPAA, PCI, SOX, and FISC, which also shows your provider has invested in being a Cloud provider over the long haul. After all, these compliance requirements aren’t going away.  

3. They Take Security Seriously and Have a Disaster Recovery Plan

As the internet of things (IoT) grows, it's increasingly important that policies and procedures are in place, especially with regard to the security of your data. Ask providers about their own disaster recovery plan. While you’re at it, make sure they have options for not only production hosting, but disaster recovery for your production hosting. How does the provider protect and secure data? A good provider will also have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that is tested on a regular basis and can help you recover from downtime quickly with no data loss. Ultimately, they should be able to prove they have been through the strictest of security audits, not just a logo on their website for show.

4. They Offer Flexibility and Carrier Options

Find out if your provider offers plans that can change as your business grows. They should have multiple carrier options, as well as interconnects with all major carriers, including international, and should offer new choices to satisfy the demands of your applications and users as your business changes. You may find that your application has needs more in line with the network or internet. In that case, most Cloud providers will expect that you have that expertise internally. Somewhere down the road, you may find yourself in a very compromising situation.

5. Their Customer Support is Top Notch and You Trust Them

How is their customer service program? Provider support is a key part of Cloud services, and you never want to be in a situation where you're unable to get in touch with your provider. At the end of the day, it's about more than competence—it's about trust. You want to trust that your provider knows what they're doing and can take away the stress of managing your Cloud so that you can get back to business and what you do best.  

LightBound as a Trusted Provider

LightBound demonstrates all five qualities you should look for in a Cloud provider, and more. Some providers today are just now dipping their toes into Cloud computing, but at LightBound, we have the knowledge and experience to be a trusted and qualified Cloud provider.  

That’s why we're a leading Indianapolis-based provider of internet, voice and data solutions. Everyone from Lucas Oil Stadium to the State of Indiana trusts their data, voice and internet service to LightBound. Contact us today to learn more about our Cloud portfolio and how we can help you make the switch to cloud.