Savvy businesses know the benefits of cloud and mobile access, especially as more and more employees work remotely. RightScale reports that 88% of enterprises use public cloud services, and 63% tap a private cloud. The search for a high-quality service provider can be rigorous, as you’re dedicated to finding the right match for your business. As with providers in all facets, you want to find a company that aligns with your business goals, and that will manage their role expertly and reliably. Choosing the right cloud and mobile service provider for your business takes some due diligence – and there’s certainly no shortage of companies competing for you to sign on with them.
So, how do you pick the right cloud and mobile service provider for your company? Start your search by considering the following:
1. Proven Reputation
Your service provider must have the experience needed to store and protect your vital information securely and reliably. Look for a vendor with deep domain specialty, and plenty of references – a company that leaves a strong, positive mark on its clients is worth looking into. It’s wise to find a provider that has worked with other companies of your size, and perhaps even in your industry. A provider familiar with your industry will already be well positioned to align their services with your business needs. Be wary of providers that have only recently gone into business – your cloud and mobile data are too important to leave in inexperienced hands.
2. Security Training
The provider you choose should not only understand the technical aspect of cloud and mobile services, but should also have rigorous safety training. It’s not enough to have a smooth cloud and mobile experience; top-notch security features are essential. Make sure your provider’s services include dedicated professionals, who consistently update security options based on the latest cloud and mobile threats. The world of cybersecurity is ever-changing, and a high-quality service provider will be highly aware, and constantly adapting to keep up with the digital world. Specific security features you should seek out include firewalls, data encryption, anti-virus software, and rigorous user verification processes.
3. Cost Savings
Working with a cloud and mobile service provider will be a cost to your company – but the data delivery options actually save companies money in the long term. Cloud and mobile providers have the advantage of working with several clients, so they can tap economies of scale. In other words, the data is cheaper per unit, because these providers have a larger group of clients using it, rather than a single company. In some cases, this translates to data that’s 7 times cheaper than you’d find in a company data center. When you first start looking for a cloud and mobile service provider, you will notice varieties in cost. Don’t rush to sign on with the cheapest provider; take other considerations, like security expertise and experience, into account to ensure you’re getting the highest quality service for your money.
4. Flexibility of Services
Cloud and mobile platforms are evolving rapidly – and the right provider will have a forward-thinking philosophy about their services. Be sure to discuss this with potential providers before making a decision. If you sign on today, what are your options for changing services, removing aspects, or adding new features in the future? Are there new services under development that could benefit you later on? Before signing a contract with a new provider, read through the document carefully, and bring up any questions or requests before setting it in stone. A quality service provider will be willing to answer all of your questions, and draw up a contract that’s not only catered to your current priorities, but also flexible to your business’ changing needs. Just as your business is always aiming for the next level, your cloud and mobile service provider of choice should have a work-in-progress mentality.
5. Customer Service
When questions arise, it’s imperative that you have easy access to the technical help your business needs. Before signing with a provider, ask about their policy and turnaround time on technical issues; including on the weekends, and holidays. Who, in particular, will answer your questions – in-house tech developers, or outsourced customer service agents? Don’t assume that customer service support is included in your base price. Find out exactly what support you can expect to receive for the fee you are paying. In the same vein, it’s smart to research the downtime history for the provider. In a perfect world, cloud and mobile service providers would never go dark – but it does happen, even to the biggest ones. Look for a cloud provider with the least amount of down time possible, and one that rectifies the situation in a timely manner whenever it does happen.
Choosing wisely when it comes to cloud and mobile providers will equate more streamlined operations in a secure environment. Take the time to get to know your potential provider before signing on – prioritize security, experience, and growth potential in your search for cloud and mobile services, and you’ll be on the right track to finding a trusted provider for your business.