8 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Enterprise Technology for Your Organization
The appeal of enterprise cloud solutions cannot be understated. With cloud services, your organization will enjoy agility, innovation, and scalability. This article covers the top eight factors you should consider when choosing a cloud enterprise technology:
Since 2006 when AWS launched, enterprise cloud technology has helped organizations outsource key IT functions at low costs, while their resources are focused on their core business. The appeal of enterprise cloud solutions cannot be understated. With cloud services, your organization will enjoy agility, innovation, and scalability. However, you have to make sure you choose the provider that works best for your needs. Here are the top eight factors you should consider when choosing a cloud enterprise technology:
1- Industry Requirements and Best Practices
An organization is subject to the regulations and norms within its industry. Government and institutional regulations indicate the requirements for enterprise cloud technologies. The industry’s best practices are based on shared experiences regarding safety, cost, convenience, and other factors. Policies such as HIPAA, GDPR, NYDFS, SOX, and NIST offer detailed requirements for cloud solutions in critical industries. It is in your best interest to check whether the enterprise cloud service you are considering meets the relevant requirements.
2 – Standards and Certifications
Once you are done looking at government regulations and industry best practices on your side, it is time to check the other side. Your enterprise cloud provider should comply with the industry standards and be certified with the leading bodies in cloud security. Compare the standards amongst your options to see who offers the best value. Knowledge of your cloud technology needs will help you figure out what to look out for in the certifications. Some areas include service status visibility, knowledge management, data management, structured processes, and cybersecurity.
3 – Performance Record
Most enterprise cloud services providers publish their Service Level Agreements (SLAs) online. If the SLAs are not publicly accessible, do not be afraid to ask them to provide you with copies from the last year. The SLAs will tell you what the clients signed up for and whether the service provider met their needs regularly. Try and find SLAs for organizations with similar needs to yours. That way, you will have an idea of what to expect.
4 – The Company’s Profile and Business Health
The point of IT outsourcing is to save your company the headache of managing your technology functions while handling your core business activities. If you partner with a service provider with poor business health, you will not achieve that peace of mind. Ensure that your cloud service provider’s financial status will allow business continuity for the foreseeable future.
An assessment of the company’s profile should include the management, governance policies, and policies regarding third-party vendors and service providers. The actions of third parties can affect your data, and you may find it challenging to seek remedies since they do not have any contractual obligations to your organization. Ensure the service provider’s policies account for such circumstances.
5 – Cybersecurity Processes and Cyber Insurance
The recent ransomware attack on Kaseya, an IT management services provider, highlighted the importance of having robust cybersecurity processes. Given that the data stored on the cloud provider’s servers could include customer private information and data valuable to hackers, you need to ensure it is safe. The NIST framework is a great tool to assess the enterprise cloud services provider’s cybersecurity preparedness. Ask about the provider’s cyber insurance terms. This will help you figure out if the policy will cover any damages you may incur during a cyber attack and the extent of that coverage.
6 – Exit Planning, Vendor Lock-In, and Migration Support
The choice of a cloud technology provider is not a permanent one. You should have the freedom to switch providers if circumstances change. Your enterprise cloud technology provider may have vendor lock-in mechanisms where their proprietary tech or processes are unique. If you need to switch providers, you may have to incur extra costs. Make sure that your chosen provider has sufficient migration support that ensures the process is carried out seamlessly.
Have your legal team scrutinize the contract for the provisions for termination grounds and procedures. These contracts are not meant to be inflexible. If you find clauses and provisions that do not align with your requirements, propose changes prior to signing the contract. Look out for clauses regarding modifications and policy changes. These are likely to be used to lock you in with the provider.
7 – Data Governance and Security
Globalization has not eliminated local laws. That means that your data is subject to the laws in the location of the servers. Assess your obligations, especially regarding data privacy. If the relevant local laws align with your obligations and requirements, it is the right enterprise cloud technology for you. Assess the provider’s breach notification procedures and ensure they align with your organization’s regulatory obligations and risk appetite. 62% of breaches occur due to cloud misconfiguration. Evaluating the security protocols and compliance to key frameworks will offer insight into the service provider’s data security levels.
8 – The Cost
According to Forbes, cloud computing takes up 32% of the IT budget. You need to ensure that you get value for your money because it takes up a significant portion of your budget. Take the time to figure out your enterprise cloud technology needs. From here, you can match that against the packages being offered and their cost. Figure out which provider offers the best value for your money.
If you have gone through all eight items on our checklist, you should have a clear idea of how to find the right enterprise cloud technology provider for you. Remember not to assess any of these factors in isolation. Collectively, they will serve as indicators to find the best solution. However, if you only consider a fraction of them, you could end up missing some key elements that may endanger your organization. Make sure you maximize the benefits of enterprise cloud technology and minimize your costs through outsourcing. The cloud services providers can afford to attract and retain the best cybersecurity experts to secure your data. Keep in mind that an enterprise cloud service is not a substitute for your IT department. Make sure you retain essential IT functions to ensure all your internal systems are working perfectly.