5 Things to Consider When Sourcing a Cloud Service Provider

5 Things to Consider When Sourcing a Cloud Service Provider

Like any competitive industry, the cloud market has seen a surge in the number of cloud service providers as the popularity of cloud continues to increase.  While this has brought an influx of new services to the masses, it has also made it very complicated to ensure the service you are subscribing to is the right service for your cloud project.  So how do you know which service providers truly offer reputable services, and more importantly, ensure your data is secure and available at all times?  While it might seem intimidating to compare vendors, the easiest way to identify which cloud service providers make the grade when it comes to industry best practices for cloud, is to look at five key areas of their service.

1. Inherent Security

Never has security become such a key driver when it comes to choosing cloud service providers.  With the recent news around high profile breaches and revelations around the NSA, organizations have to be aware of the risks that come with placing sensitive corporate data into the cloud.  This means it is critical to look for cloud service providers who are able to secure the environment from the kernel up, that is ensuring the entire platform is secure, not just add security services to protect your data. Cloud IT Canada is one of the few cloud service providers who offer advanced security by leveraging crypto server, an add on which protects your environment from the kernel up meaning the entire environment is secured against even the most persistent threats. Providers who built a service with security at the forefront can help ensure your data remains safe in the cloud, meaning you can worry less about managing security in-house, and more on driving value for your customers.

2. Uptime Guarantees

One of the biggest issues with cloud services is that since your data is now stored off-site on a cloud server, you rely on a provider ensuring access to that data.  Much like an offline website, having a disruption in availability means not just an impact to customer service, but it can bring your organization to a halt.  Cloud service providers must be able to ensure that you can access your data at all times, since you are trusting them with your most valuable assets, your business critical resources. One of the best ways to verify the reliability of a cloud service provider is to ask for logs or service level agreements which show their track record for reliability, and more importantly, who is responsible should something happen to the service.  Cloud service providers should also have fail-over or redundancy built into their service plans to ensure consistent access to your services 24x7x365.

3. Secured flexibility in cloud platforms

While you might be familiar with some of the larger cloud platforms including VMware, Azure or Amazon AWS, there has recently been a shift towards a more flexible platform, OpenStack.  Unlike other platforms, one of the key benefits that come from the UNIX-based platform means the ability to create highly customized applications without the hefty licensing fees.  This means you truly pay for what you use, and nothing more. It’s no wonder some of the biggest cloud service providers are now offering OpenStack as an alternative to their core platforms.  It’s also the reason why Cloud IT Canada offers one of the largest, most secure OpenStack cloud service offerings.  We aren’t simply offering it as an additional service, which means you can rest assured that your environment has security controls tailored to OpenStack, in fact, our OpenStack environments meet the strict compliance requirements of some of the most regulated industries including finance, retail and pharmaceutical.

4. Professional Services

Moving to a cloud platform is a big undertaking for many organizations from the learning curve involved, knowing what to do in order to reduce the risk of data loss or compatibility issues means your IT team needs to be highly skilled at migrations.  But even then, sometimes the task of moving to the cloud is daunting enough to make organizations think twice about cloud, even with all the benefits that come from these services.  Luckily, many cloud service providers offer a suite of professional services to help you make the transition to your new cloud platform seamless and pain-free.  In addition, cloud service providers like Cloud IT Canada offer advanced services including security and compliance guidance, application modernization services (DevOps) and even help design your entire cloud strategy to ensure your transition to cloud is efficient, secure and headache free.

5. Flexibility in how your data can be accessed

Once your data is in the cloud, how do you plan to access it?  This is often an overlooked part of a cloud strategy, since unlike traditional IT resources, cloud offers a wide range of ways for users to interact with your corporate assets.  From running virtual desktops on a variety of devices including mobile devices and tablets to allow remote workers to work as if they were at their desktop, to running older versions of operating systems to reduce the hassle of managing obsolete hardware, Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) supports the most demanding business requirements. Cloud IT Canada’s remote desktop service even supports advanced functions including printing and remote drive mapping, so you don’t compromise on productivity. We can also help ensure that your data has the right policies to ensure it is being accessed only by authorized users and can dictate where and how the data can reside across multiple types of devices from desktops and laptops to mobile devices.

Choosing a cloud service provider can be a daunting task. Cloud IT Canada not just understands that cloud is complicated, but we aim to make it simple to adopt a variety of secure services to help your organization start leveraging the many benefits of cloud services. Whether you are a small business ready for world-domination, or an enterprise who is looking to offload some of the management tasks of your environments, we have the cloud service to meet the unique needs of your business.