5 must-have attributes of cloud service providers

When it comes to sharing and accessing data, a rising number of us are heading to the cloud. Like many people, you might often use the cloud without even realising it. However, if you’re trying to find a service provider for your business, the stakes are raised, meaning it’s vital that you select a suitable firm. Here are five of the most important attributes to look out for when you’re seeking cloud solutions.

1) A serious approach to security

It’s hard to overstate the importance of effective internet security. Too often over recent years, major web security failings have made the headlines. No organisation, regardless of their size and power, is immune to such problems. This means that when you’re vetting potential cloud service providers, it’s crucial to take a good look at the safety measures they have in place.

As well as focussing on the physical security of their data centres, cloud specialists should use sophisticated firewall configurations and offer multi-layer protection from threats including viruses, spyware and worms. Advanced encryption technology is another must. In addition, look out for an agreement that states your service provider will not give its security details out to third parties.

2) Technical prowess

When done well, cloud services should be extremely easy to use. However, the apparent simplicity of the systems from the perspective of the end user masks the highly technical nature of what goes on behind the scenes. Your service provider must have all the relevant technology, as well as highly trained and skilled personnel .

3) A scalable and cost effective solution

There’s no getting around the fact that money matters in the business world, so it pays off to look for a cost effective service. Also, your provider should be able to offer you a flexible solution that can be scaled up or down to meet your needs at any given time.

4) The right approach to customer service

High standards of customer service are another necessity. Your provider should guarantee you professional and reliable care that you can trust. Take a careful look at the support services that companies offer. Ideally, you should have access to all the assistance you need around the clock. Meanwhile, as well as remote help, you might want a firm that can come to your premises to remedy any problems.

Knowing that you won’t be left high and dry in the event of technical issues can be a big relief.

5) CIF certification

Of course, all providers will tell you that they’re the best, but it can be hard to know if their services live up to their rhetoric. This is where independent accreditation comes in handy. Look for companies that have been certified by the Cloud Industry Forum’s (CIF’s) Code of Practice. The CIF is the only body in the UK that governs the delivery of cloud services.

By taking your time and seeking out firms that meet these criteria, you can rest assured you’ll be satisfied with the service you receive.

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