Key considerations to keep in mind when looking for a cloud service provider

Managed IT · 14 févr. 2024

Selecting the
perfect IT provider
or the best cloud provider can be a critical choice that will impact your business success, and with so many options out there it’s essential that you know what to look for when choosing. 
From security features to scalability, support and pricing, each consideration plays a crucial role when selecting a cloud partner for your organization. By understanding the key features and considerations of a cloud service provider, you will be able to make a more informed decision for your business. 

Type of cloud services

The first step to selecting your cloud provider is to understand a bit more about the
types of clouds
that exist. Knowing that can help you decide what is the best option for your organization, as each one has its own advantages.
  • Public cloud: It refers to cloud services that are provided by third-party vendors and made available to the general public over the internet. They are typically highly scalable and offer a wide range of features and applications.
  • Private cloud: This one offers greater flexibility than the public cloud, it can include dedicated servers and additional hardware. Most of the time it’s a cloud infrastructure that is dedicated to a single organization. This option can offer enhanced security and control as it is not shared with other businesses. It fits well for businesses with strict compliance requirements or those that need more control over their data.
  • Hybrid cloud: Hybrid cloud combines elements of both public and private clouds. It leverages the benefits of both environments by integrating on-premises infrastructure with public and private cloud services. This enables businesses to achieve flexibility, scalability‌ and cost-efficiency. 
Each cloud can bring different considerations to the table, and the choice depends on what is best for your business, but there’s more to be considered as clouds can offer many more features that need to be evaluated up close. See below for the main features you need to evaluate when selecting your cloud service provider.

List of considerations

  • Security: According to the
    TELUS Canadian Cloud Security Study
    , 99% of organizations agree that security in the cloud is a challenge, that's why it’s important to ensure that the provider you are considering has robust cybersecurity measures in place to protect your business. Some features that you should look for are: encryption,
    identity management
    , regular security audits,
    updated hardware
    and applications, employee training, and compliance support. Read the guide,
    Protecting against cyber threats
    to learn how to safeguard your business.
  • Uptime: Cloud providers often have multiple data centres and redundancy measures in place to minimize downtime. For example,
    Microsoft Azure’s availability rate tends to be 99.99%
    . It can also be beneficial to assess a cloud provider's SLAs, uptime guarantees‌ and any historical data or reports on their performance.
  • Scalability and capabilities: Don’t forget to consider your business growth and future needs, and how well the provider’s services can integrate with your existing system and applications by checking for compatibility with your preferred programming languages, frameworks‌ and tools. You should choose a provider that can easily accommodate your demands without compromising ‌performance, and make sure to evaluate the ease of migrating and the ability to extract and transfer your data to another provider if needed.
  • Compliance: Make sure that you know where the provider's data centres are located and that they comply with the latest cybersecurity regulations, relevant data protection and privacy rules. Consider any specific compliance requirements for your industry and your location. For instance, if you are in Canada, you and your provider need to follow the
    Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) in Canada
  • Data backup and recovery: Check if they offer regular data backups. This includes regular and automated backups of customer data to ensure its availability and integrity. Also look for redundancy features, such as redundant storage, servers‌ and network infrastructure, to ensure continuous access to data and services. And ensure that they offer a robust disaster recovery plan that includes steps for data recovery, system restoration‌ and service continuity. 
    Additionally, consider the cloud provider data centre infrastructure and the level of control and involvement you have in managing and monitoring your backups and disaster recovery processes.
  • Support and response time: You should look for a partner that can offer 24/7 support to ensure assistance is available whenever you need it, regardless of time zones or business hours, and a dedicated account manager if needed. 
    In addition to that, evaluate the various support channels provided by the provider, where common support channels include phone, email, live chat‌ and a self-service knowledge base.
  • Pricing model: It’s vital that you consider the pricing structure and understand the costs involved, including any additional fees for data transfer, storage‌ or support, not to mention the provider's billing transparency and flexibility. No one likes hidden fees and unclear communication around invoices and costs.
  • Reputation: Doing your homework to learn more about your future partner can’t hurt. Make sure that you research the provider's reputation, customer reviews‌ and industry experience. Look for references and case studies to assess their track record. Also, consider the provider's commitment to innovation and look for investments in emerging technologies and services that align with your business goals.
This list can be your roadmap to successfully choosing your cloud partner, and keep in mind that you need a partner that will be able to align with your business goals and growth.

Your cloud service provider is closer than you think

Finding a cloud service provider can be stressful, but it's essential to ensure that your business is in good hands. Carefully analyzing your options and having as much information about cloud capabilities as possible will help you make informed decisions when finding a new partner. By staying proactive in your approach, you can ensure that your cloud infrastructure remains an asset rather than a source of frustration.
Connect with a managed IT specialist today
to learn how TELUS Business can help with your evolving IT needs, including advising and implementing a cloud management strategy.