When choosing a cloud provider, your requirements and evaluation criteria will be specific to your company. Regardless, there are a few typical areas of concern for any service provider assessment.
Certifications and Standards
Industry best practices and standards are demonstrated by providers who adhere to recognized standards and quality frameworks. While standards may not determine which service provider you choose, they can assist you in narrowing down your options.
There are a variety of standards and certifications to choose from. Some of the most common organizations that provide standards, certifications, and good practice guidelines are depicted in the graphic above. Look for well-organized processes, efficient data management, excellent knowledge management, and overall visibility of service status.
Technologies and Service Roadmap
Examine whether the provider’s platform and suggested technologies are compatible with your current environment can assist you in achieving your cloud objectives.
Many service providers provide comprehensive migration services, including assessment and planning support. Ascertain that you have a thorough grasp of the assistance available, map it to project duties, and select who will do what.
Inquire about the provider’s service development roadmap – how do they expect to keep innovating and growing over time? Is their roadmap long-term compatible with your requirements?
Features, service, and integration roadmap are particularly desirable for SaaS companies. Depending on your cloud strategy, you may also want to consider the full array of services that providers can deliver. If you plan to employ a variety of best-of-breed services from various providers, this is less significant.
Data Management and Information Security
Cloud service providers should be open about the locations of their data centers, but you should also be responsible for obtaining this information. Look at the provider’s data loss and breach notification methods to see whether they’re in line with your company’s risk appetite and legal or regulatory requirements.
Make sure you evaluate the cloud provider’s data and system security, security operations maturity, and security governance processes. Ensure that all user access and activity can be audited and that security roles and responsibilities are clearly defined in the contacts or business policies documents. For any issues raised, request internal security audit reports, incident reports, and documentation of corrective measures.
Service Dependencies and Partnerships
It’s crucial to note that service providers may have different vendor partnerships. It’s a good idea to look at the provider’s relationships with important vendors, their accreditation levels, technological capabilities, and staff certifications.
Service Dependencies and Subcontractors
It’s also crucial to identify any service dependencies and partnerships involved in the delivery of cloud services. In general, be wary of service providers with a huge list of subcontractors. Especially when it comes to mission-critical business procedures or data subject to data protection laws.
Contracts, Commercials, and SLAs
Contracts and SLAs
Always press suppliers who are willing to offer flexible terms for further information on how they plan to support this variation, who is responsible for it, and what systems are in place to manage it.
Make sure the service and deliverables are clearly defined. Establish a clear understanding of the service’s duties and responsibilities (delivery, provisioning, service management, monitoring, support, escalations, and so on) and how they are split between the customer and the supplier.
Data Protection and Policies
Examine a provider’s security and data management policies, especially those that pertain to data privacy legislation. Ascertain that data access, location, jurisdiction, confidentiality, and usage/ownership rights are all adequately protected. Examine your backup and disaster recovery plans. Examine data exchange strategies to see how transportable data might be affected if you decide to depart.
Contractual and service governance, contract renewal policies, and exit or modification notice periods are just a few of the terms covered in the training module. Your circumstances will determine the most important, but key considerations include contractual and service governance, contract renewal policies, and exit or modification notice periods.
Indemnification, intellectual property rights, liability limits, and warranties should all be standard clauses in providers’ contracts.
SLAs should also state how issues should be recognized and resolved, who should do so, and when. They will similarly detail every type of compensation available and the procedures for logging and claiming, as well as clauses that limit the scope of the SLA and exclusions and cautions.
Each cloud service provider offers a different set of services and price options. For different products, different providers have distinct price benefits. Most pricing variables are based on the length of time, with some providers allowing for usage by the minute and discounts for longer commitments. Save a massive cost on document scanning prices per page with We Scan Files. Here at We Scan Files, we offer document scanning solutions at affordable prices.
Performance and Reliability
Check the service provider’s performance against their SLAs over 6-12 months. Some service providers make this information public, while others offer it upon request.
Make sure your selected supplier has procedures in place for coping with planned and unplanned downtime that are well-documented and proven. They should have procedures and plans that detail how they intend to communicate with customers during outages, including timeliness, prioritization, and severity level assessment of issues.
Migration Support, Vendor Lock-in, and Exit Planning
Avoid vendor lock-in by ensuring that your selected supplier uses proprietary technology sparingly or that services that hinder your ability to relocate or transition away are minimized. Similarly, from the outset of your relationship, make sure you have a clear exit strategy in place.
It’s worth learning about a CSP’s practices before signing a contract because leaving their service isn’t usually a quick or pleasant transfer. Consider how you’ll get access to your data, what condition it’ll be in, and how long the supplier will store it.
While evaluating a potential supplier’s technical and operational competence is critical, you should also assess the financial health and profile of the companies you’ve shortlisted. It doesn’t matter if the cloud service is the most suitable or cost-effective provider doesn’t have a solid business. Check to see if your major providers are a suitable long-term fit.