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Often times when considering moving to cloud hosting you’re filled with questions. Does the cloud provider have what I need to help update my technology needs at a reasonable price? Do they have the right recovery and backup systems in place? Do they provide 24/7 IT support? What about security? It can be intimidating or frustrating trying to figure out how to choose the right business cloud hosting provider for your company. These few simple tips will help guide you to find the right business cloud hosting service for your organization.
When you’re searching for a business cloud hosting service it is important to think about the customized, industry-specific applications and software your business is using each day. That may seem obvious, but if you use several programs in a specific field you need the right business cloud solution to suit your needs. Look for a business cloud hosting service that offers flexible solutions for easy and reliable access to these applications. For example, if you use Microsoft Office 365 every day, you need a service that will effectively host that product and offer support should there be an issue. Likewise, if you’re an accounting firm, you’ll need specific accounting software such as QuickBooks or Sage. It’s important to make sure any business cloud hosting service you use provides solutions with a secure environment for your specific software.
Look for a cloud provider that packages solutions to accommodate your software and keep all of it in one spot creating a centralized place for users to log in and access applications. You may foresee future expansions or changes to your business that might require updating or adding software. Keep in mind, when selecting a business cloud host, you’ll want a comfort level when asking questions and a sense that the provider wants to establish a partnership with you, particularly since these relationships tend to be long-term. However, it may also be important to ask the provider if it is easy enough to retrieve your data from their cloud to migrate it to another service if absolutely necessary.
Free Trial – Don’t Buy Until You Try
A free trial will help alleviate fears about the cloud and help you access the level of customer service, ease of use and reliability of the chosen cloud solution. Make sure it works for your business before you buy. As you narrow down your selection, choose one or two provider trials to test out. A few days to a week should give you a good feel for the cloud hosting providers abilities and whether or not they have hidden fees or add-ons that should be included in the package. Make sure they offer 24/7 technical support, provide installation of the applications, and automatically take care of software updates and patches for you.
Recovery and Back Up Processes
Keeping your data safe should be a top priority for a cloud service provider. It’s their job to make sure each client’s proprietary business data is secure and backed up consistently. When researching a business cloud provider, it is important to examine the recovery processes in the event of a power outage or natural disaster. Ask where the service provider stores client backups and who has access to them in the event of an emergency. How frequently is data backed up? Do they do incremental backups that can reconstruct your data if something goes wrong? What is the retention period of critical data? Find a provider with a clear recovery process and unlimited support.
Because your documents and data are stored remotely, there is less of a chance of a security breach with a cloud service. That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible, but it is less likely than if you didn’t use a business cloud hosting service. Ask whether or not all connections in your system are fully encrypted using https (port 443). See if an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) such as Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances and an advanced anti-virus software is used to ensure further data protection. Ask the business cloud hosting service what steps are in place to protect you from internal and external threats. Be sure to have a clear understanding of the security processes and scope of protection, what assurances are in place to protect your company, and what both you and the cloud provider are accountable for.
Ask for references of current customers using the cloud provider’s services. Talking one-on-one with a client will provide insight and additional questions that may have been missed. Is the client happy? How long have they been a customer? What kinds of issues have come up and how were they handled?
In summary, finding a good fit with the right business cloud hosting provider will allow your business to grow seamlessly and stay competitive. Small businesses will begin to see IT cost savings and less of a need for expensive hardware and other resources while the cloud user should find their work life becoming simpler and more productive.
Contact us today for with questions regarding our customized solutions and any help you may need setting up your cloud hosting service. Here at VyonCloud, we look forward to becoming your IT Cloud Partner.