Essential Questions to Ask a Cloud Service Provider Before Finalizing their Services

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Are you looking for the best cloud service provider whom you can trust to deliver a powerful system with the ability to keep all your data secure and compliant? If yes, then this blog can be helpful for you in choosing the best cloud vendor that can meet your requirements. 

Things to keep in mind when choosing a cloud vendor

Nowadays, many cloud service providers are available in the market. It is important to note that all service providers are not the same. All come in different shapes and sizes, from large-scale organizations offering various services to small businesses specializing in a limited number of services. Based on the kind of services you need, you can opt for the best service provider. However, there are certain important things that you must consider in your mind before making a final decision. These things include:

  • Security: Security should be your top priority when looking for a cloud service provider. Avoid making any assumptions about the level of security concerning a particular vendor. Each service provider works differently. They have their own rules, service-level agreements, terms, and conditions, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to understand thoroughly what kind of security and services each service provider commits to you. 
  • Terms and conditions: A complete transparency is important while availing the service from a cloud service provider. Don’t just pay attention to what they are offering. Before accepting their service, make sure to go through their terms and conditions carefully. Read all the different sections carefully in the terms and conditions. If you agree with all the things mentioned in their terms and conditions, go ahead and start using their services. 

What to Ask a Cloud Vendor?

Before choosing a particular web cloud provider, it is important to clear all your concerns related to the:

  • Security
  • Privacy
  • Operations

Security-related questions:

Many service providers strive to deliver the best services in today’s competitive marketplace while creating a track record for successful security practices. Still, it is necessary to clear all your security-related concerns before finalizing a service provider. Various security-related questions that you can ask include:

  • Ask things related to data access: Who all can have access to the company’s data (physically and virtually)? What kind of security structure will be there when the data is accessed? What will be the security clearance process, and how will the data be protected from outsiders? What are the policies of data centers, and how are they protected? Who can all have virtual access to data? How will the users access the data, and is the data encrypted? If yes, then how are the encryption keys secured?
  • Does the cloud service provider outsource data storage? Several cloud service providers outsource their customer’s data to another location or even to another cloud vendor. Clear this concern with your service provider. If you are not comfortable with this process, you can choose another service provider who doesn’t outsource the data storage to another location or vendor. 
  • How do they deal with legal requests for data review? There are chances that legal requests come from the customers or government authorities to review the data. It is important to understand how the service provider deals with such requests. 
  • How long will the data be stored? As mentioned above, every service provider is different, and so their policies are. It is important to ask them how long your data will be stored and when it will get deleted, and most importantly, how data deletion decisions are made. 
  • What structural design do they follow while preserving the data? It is also one of the major concerns of many companies that their data will be isolated from other customers if they choose to secure their data in a multi-tenant structure. The provider should explain to you clearly how your data will be segmented from other customers’ data. 
  • What certifications do they have? Certifications will provide you with an idea of how the service provider is performing in the market. 

Privacy-related questions: 

Along with security-related questions, it is important to clear all your concerns related to privacy. You can ask questions like:

  • What type of data will be collected from your company, and how will it be kept private? It is important to clarify what data you are concerned about and how you want to keep it private.
  • For what purpose will your data be used? The data that the service provider will collect should not be mishandled. Make sure to understand the service provider’s policies regarding the privacy of data. 
  • How long will they retain the data? Some service providers keep it for 30 days, some for 90 days or even a year. Also, make sure to ask about their terms and conditions related to retaining a company’s data.
  • Does the cloud service provider encrypt your data? Ask whether the service provider will encrypt your data; if yes, then in what way? 
  • Where will they store your data? Cloud service providers generally store the data in various locations for different purposes. You must understand their storage policy and how it aligns with your business practices. 

Operations related questions

Apart from security and privacy, your cloud provider’s activities will interconnect with many of your organization’s everyday operations. You must be clear about how your operations will be affected. You can ask questions like:

  • What are their database and storage architecture redundancy models? It will make you understand how they can help to deal with infrastructure failure without hampering business operations.
  • What is their backup frequency? It is vital to know the frequency with which cloud providers do backups. More frequent backups ensure better redundancy.
  • What will be the recovery time in case of failure? It is vital to understand how long it will take your cloud service provider to recover your data in case of operation failure.
  • How to access or download data from the service? Another important question is about the steps that need to be followed while accessing or downloading data from the service. 

Conclusion:

So, these are some of the important questions that you must ask a web cloud provider before accepting and going ahead with his services. Understanding the service provider’s way of working and current standing in the market can help you choose the best one for your specific requirements.

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