When it comes to choosing a cloud service provider, many words come to mind – trust, reliability, security and access. But in a sea of providers, how do you choose the right one for your business? In this blog post, we will share guidelines for selecting a cloud service provider for your business and outline the questions you need to ask around scalability, security and SLAs.

What is scalability? The term scalability refers the total amount of users that a web based application (a.k.a. a cloud) can host while still being actively effective and functioning at full capability. The scalability of a cloud-based organization will dictate how many employees or users can be active on the cloud without the server suffering a crash or failure. Scalability is especially important to consider when choosing a cloud service provider for the simple fact that the effectiveness of your work will depend upon it.

What kind of security is needed? The security of each cloud service will vary and understanding how each service provider plans on securing your data within the cloud will be instrumental in choosing the right provider to fit your needs. According to CIO, "A recent study by IT industry association CompTIA found that even though many organizations are concerned about the security of their data in the cloud, a minority of companies perform a comprehensive review of their cloud service providers before sealing the deal."

When choosing a cloud service provider, security should always be a priority. Organizations should be mindful of three things when selecting their provider: technical expertise, the presence of a third party compliance audit and the individual provider's plan for securing data. In addition, organizations should be aware of the provider's plan for access control including application, physical and personnel. Always be sure to ask the appropriate questions in relation to the security of transactional and at-rest data, and have full understanding of the provider's plans for data encryption and key security.

What is included in my service level agreement? With multiple high profile outages occurring this past year, it is essential to understand the incredible importance of a detailed service level agreement (SLA). According to Gartner, "A service is only as good as a cloud provider is willing to back up with an SLA. As in the financial markets, past performance does not dictate future performance. Just because a vendor has had a good track record for uptime does not mean they will have good uptime in the future." These agreements are your guarantee to protection and quality service within the cloud from your service provider. The more in-depth this agreement is, the more secure you and your data will be.

Here at RiverMeadow, we work exclusively with carriers and cloud service providers to enable quick, simple and cost efficient onboarding. If you or anyone you know are looking for more information on the topic of cloud migration, please contact RiverMeadow today!

Photo Credit: Francisco. J. Gonzalez