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2014’s Cloud Purchasing Guide

By:Christine Fettinger

2014’s main concern for any small and medium business is which cloud solution they should invest in. Instead of discussing all the cloud-based solutions we have compiled a list of questions and concerns you should be well informed on.

Cloud adoption usually begins in the experimentation phase where companies test these services by creating an account using a trial or limited version of a cloud-based solution such as (Google Docs, Constant Contact, Salesforce.com, etc). Before investing company resources into an account; one should reevaluate their current cloud solutions.

Questions to ask when selecting a cloud service:

  • Cloud Performance and Capabilities – What metrics are used to asses speed, reliability, and overall performance?
  • Cloud Data Storage – What methods are used to protect data?
  • Support – How is support provided?
  • Cloud Service Provider Expertise – Are there any credentials or certifications?
  • Costs and Contracts – How are the fees structured?

Traditionally companies prefer to maintain their IT systems and applications internally. Most companies today fall in the hybrid category which is internal and cloud-based. The staggering numbers speak for themselves, 57% of business owners moved their business-critical applications to the cloud!

Issues that need to be addressed before purchasing:

  • Broadband dependent
  • Vendor lock-in
  • Integration challenges
  • Unexpected costs
  • Reliability
  • Flexibility
  • Process/policy requirements
  • Performance
  • Security
  • Confusing service level agreements (SLA)
  • Cloud backup and recovery

Any business investment decision requires a range of decision factors which is why an expert opinion is needed. Contact a CyberStreams expert IT Consultant for your cloud solution needs.