Cloud- based services are gaining popularity, all thanks to the organizations who have realized the power cloud brings on its deployment. Easy to store data. Easy to access data. Everything is simple. But, not just yet. Think about this. As a business or as an individual who uses cloud for work do you remember what were the things that went into consideration before buying cloud services? Surely you must have looked at some aspects like – data security provided by your cloud service provider or even the frequency of updates when it comes to malware protection etc. But there are some critical points that go unnoticed while deciding which cloud hosting provider to opt for when the aforementioned things are on the top of your mind. Here are some minute but important points businesses like yours miss out as you tick the box of essentials for your cloud hosting.

Having a great backup / recovery plan

In a level playing field, what differentiates most businesses from their competitors is their ability to recover from situations which put them on a back burner. Your cloud hosting provider is a key tool that helps move your business like clockwork. When most of the employees within your organization rely on cloud to access and store large amount of data, why risk business efficiency with a cloud provider who has no plan B. Which is why, having rock solid cloud service provider with a proven track record of backup and recovery in times of crisis puts you an advantage. Say goodbye to long data recovery sessions which eat your business days. Find a partner who guarantees you with a sound backup solution.

Easy migration from one cloud service to another

Cloud as a service provides its users the mobility to move from one kind of service to another with ease. So, make sure that when you want to migrate from public cloud to private cloud or even hybrid, you understand all kinds of plans given by the service provider. You may not need an advanced plan right away, but if you think that you will need one sometime in the future, park that idea and ask your service provider about the details of migrating to another variant of the cloud service.

Consistent uptime track record

Server uptime is one of the key aspects that put your business at pace. As a buyer it is a must  that you should know what server uptime you need while choosing a cloud service provider. Make sure that he has a proven track record of maintaining  good server up time. That’s anywhere more than 99%. You can find out by speaking to the existing clients in your provider’s roster or even by understanding their reputation in the market in terms of delivery.

Tight security measures

Everything that is on cloud, should be safe. That should be your number one priority. And any service provider that maintains this policy is your trusted guide. Ask your service provider the details of their network and data security policies. Make sure you know that your data is protected from malware and phishing attacks. Also, do a little bit of research on whether the cloud hosting provider practices generating security reports for their clients/customers to provide you complete transparency over security issues or events.

Compliance & Support

It is essential that your cloud service provider meets compliance and support needs that are at par with the industry. Check with your cloud service provider whether they follow your industry norms and if your organization has to follow rules set by HIPAA or HITECH . Also, ensure that your cloud hosting provider has a dedicated team that runs and tracks activities based on compliance tests and issues at an ongoing basis. This will benefit you during compliance audits. Along with compliance do check whether your cloud service provider is standing by you 24/7 in times of support. If they do, they as a cloud service provider are definitely taking your business seriously.

Number of datacenters and their locations

The speed and the latency at which your information is passed through data centers matters a lot. It is something which cloud service providers use as a factor to differentiate themselves from their competitors. So, in order to take this advantage, ask your cloud provider where his data centers are located. The farther they are located the more chances of you facing latency issues. So, ensure that you pick a cloud hosting provider who has data centers near your area of operation.

Overall reporting

Does your new cloud service provider believes in giving you monthly reports about security check, phishing attacks, malware updates, server uptime maintenance etc.? If the answer to all of these is no, then you must think of another service provider. There reports are no less than key performance indicators of your cloud service provider for your organization’s cloud service. Because you are using them as a tool to enhance your daily business activities. The least they could do is provide a holistic report where you can see where or how they have added value to your organization.

Other factors that also come into consideration

Some basic but key aspects that come into play are things like scale, exclusivity and functionality of the service because you want to one day grow your business and would like to have a service provider who is dedicated and also makes things easy as you move up. You should also check with the service provider whether the cloud services that will be deployed will take too much of training time for your employees. You don’t want a service that is difficult to maneuver from the word go.

These were some key elements that you should put in your checklist while you are choosing a new cloud hosting provider for yourself. If you feel that there are doubts lingering about any of these components, be in a position to resolve them with your hosting provider before giving them a go ahead.