In February, we discussed how it’s important to ask potential cloud hosting service providers critical questions before settling on a vendor. The truth is, the list of questions you should ask your cloud service provider doesn’t end there. 

As is the case with any business relationship, it’s important to know as much as possible about what you’re purchasing. Although it may at times feel excessive, your cloud services provider will actually appreciate your transparency. By being as open as possible about your lingering concerns, you help them offer better services not only to your company, but to all of their clients. 

With that dedication to transparency, here are three more questions worth asking your cloud service provider.

  1. How Often Do You Backup Our Data?

There’s no telling the number of potential issues that can arise with your company’s data. Someone could accidentally delete it, or it could become corrupted due to user error or forces beyond your control. 

Either way, you need to know your data will be there in the event of an unforeseen crisis. Your cloud services provider can ensure your data is protected by frequently backing up their system. A system backup essentially preserves your data in a specific site. In the event data is lost or corrupted, they can help you get back on your feet by using this backup file. 

But a data backup isn’t particularly useful if it isn’t done frequently. If, for instance, your provider only backs up the data once every six months, a data loss incident could still prove catastrophic for your business. 

As long as the terms are in writing, you should have nothing to worry about if you ever suffer a data corruption or loss event. 

  1. How Flexible Are My Services?

It’s critical to have business software that grows with your company. Otherwise, you’ll likely need to eventually purchase a new system, which can be very costly. 

One incredibly valuable aspect of cloud hosting is the ability to add and remove capacity as needed without the need for permanent licenses. For example, imagine a situation in which your business is about to take on a major project. In order to complete it on time and within your budget, you need to bring on additional employees and, in turn, additional computing capacity.

Under the traditional model, you’d likely need to purchase additional software licenses for all of your new users. Modern software companies, of course, typically aim to expand their revenue streams by selling additional licenses. Needless to say, the costs can quickly add up.

But if you have a flexible consumption plan with your host, none of that is necessary. You can easily add additional capacity and remove it later if you no longer need it. 

Make sure your host is as upfront as possible about how flexible your plan is. 

  1. What Will You, the Host, handle and what is our responsibility? 

In any business relationship, each party will have a certain number of responsibilities. Generally speaking, these responsibilities and deliverables are outlined in the contract struck between the two organizations. 

It’s no different in cloud hosting. In what is called the “Shared Responsibility Model”, hosts are responsible for securing the cloud itself while customers are tasked with maintaining security of the data within the cloud. In essence, this means the host is charged with maintaining the security of the operating system and facilities. The customer, on the other hand, manages the security for apps and the firewall. 

Clearly, your IT leaders should be looped into conversations about shared responsibility as well as any other matters related to cloud hosting. They are, after all, the experts on the matter.

Whenever you want to have this conversation with potential providers, we hope you’ll consider Timac Business Systems. We offer secure facilities and high speed cloud hosting services for small and medium sized businesses of southern California.

Contact us today for a free consultation! 

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