Businesses are increasingly turning from on-site to cloud-based computing. According to research carried out by Gartner, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) sector will grow by 17.4 percent through 2016. Within SaaS, business intelligence applications category will grow by 27.1 percent, office suite applications by 40.7 percent, and digital content creation applications by 32.2 percent. These statistics show that cloud computing has a bright future indeed. When choosing private cloud providers, you need to consider the following factors carefully.
Although private cloud platforms offer better security than public ones, security is still a big concern. In fact, a study carried out by Forrester Inc. found that more than half of companies that rely on private cloud providers have had a security breach in the last 18 months. Choose a cloud provider that monitors the cloud platform on a regular basis. This includes the use of firewalls, systems to detect intrusions, and the use of robust password protection.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
In simple terms, SLAs outline what clients should expect in terms of service delivery. This shows the level of commitment you can expect from your private cloud provider. Be wary of numbers such as 99.9 percent uptime. This can translates into a downtime of 1 hour every month. In addition, your service provider should offer an Operating Level Agreement (OLA). This defines who is responsible for what in case of a service breakdown.
You should not assume that data ownership is not an issue. Find out from your cloud provider what happens to the data if you fail to make monthly payments on time. At the same time, find out if you can export your data to another cloud platform. These data ownership issues can make or break your business.
Make sure your service provider complies with regulations governing data storage, access, and confidentiality. This includes the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) and Sarbanes-Oxley.
APIs and Technology Stack
Find out if you can access the cloud provider’s Application Programming Interface (API). This makes it easier to access the underlying infrastructure of both provision and de-provision servers. Make sure the private cloud platform uses a technology stack that is compatible with your applications.
The private cloud offers businesses many benefits. However, you should vet private cloud providers carefully. That is, scrutinize data security measures, SLAs, and data ownership with a fine tooth comb.
If you are looking for a private cloud provider, click below and check out our top 10 tips on picking the best cloud provider.
Do you have more questions on cloud computing? Set up a free 10 minute consultation with a cloud expert.