Transferring your business operations, emails, and document storage to the cloud will significantly reduce the cost of running a business, streamline workflow, and forego the need for in-house IT solutions, according to cloud consulting specialists OpsioCloud.com. The right cloud hosting provider will facilitate remote employee collaboration and access to critical business information. In a nutshell, cloud hosting allows SMEs to focus on the core business, as the cloud hosting provider handles the troublesome IT infrastructure.
With many companies offering cloud hosting services, choosing your business’s right provider can be a daunting task. Like any other trade, hosting providers have varying capabilities, services, and expertise. The best cloud hosting provider offers secure, affordable, and customized services. If you are in the market for a cloud hosting provider and are unsure where to start, consider the following factors.
Before shortlisting any cloud hosting provider, understand your security needs, and then compare that to the security features and mechanisms offered by prospective hosting providers. In addition, understand the responsibilities of each party.
You must know which security features/services are free and paid-for features/services available from the hosting provider. It is also vital that you know where to supplement third-party services, and which options are available.
With security being a primary concern with cloud services, you must ask for detailed and industry-specific questions.
When looking for a cloud hosting provider, it is crucial to choose a company that meets your industry-specific compliance needs. Whether you are governed by SOC 2, HIPAA (more info), GDPR, or other frameworks, ensure you know what it takes to be compliant, once your data is in a cloud infrastructure. Understand what compliance aspects your hosting provider will offer and your responsibilities.
3. Technologies and Support
When selecting a cloud hosting provider, ensure their standards, architectures, and services are per your business environment and management preferences.
Before finally deciding to work with a specific cloud services provider, assess how much re-coding and other adjustments it will take. Go for a provider that offers migration support and assistance, as this makes the process easy on your part.
4. Reliability and Performance
Downtime comes with lots of losses, especially for businesses that rely on cloud services to transact. Therefore, when choosing a cloud service provider, you must consider reliability.
While downtimes are inevitable naturally, consider how often downtimes happen and how the company solves the problem. Check the provider’s roles, processes, tools, recovery provisions, and responsibility before hiring. The ideal cloud hosting provider has the best Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR), and will act fast in downtime.
5. Cloud Services
Cloud service providers offer different services. The primary modalities include Platform-as-a-Service, Software-as-a-Service, and Infrastructure-as-a-service, which many people think of as the cloud. The Infrastructure-as-a-service can be broken down further into private and public cloud depending on how the infrastructure is shared or managed.
Public and private cloud offers different privacy, security, and cost implications, and can either be managed or unmanaged. Therefore when choosing a cloud hosting provider, know the platform you need and the impact of that choice on your business. Also, ensure the provider offers the service(s) you are looking for.
Before settling on a specific cloud service provider, it is vital to check on pricing. Although many providers will offer low cost and tempting offers, check what services they are offering, security features, compliance, and reputation. While it does not mean all affordable cloud services are questionable, counter check the average cost of cloud services before making a decision. Make price comparisons and only settle for the best cloud hosting provider. You can as well ask for discounts and flexible terms if you’re on a budget.