Choosing the right service provider allows you to realize full potential

The cloud technology has to be managed efficiently, like every other technological services. Once you have decided to move to the cloud, choosing the perfect cloud computing partner is the next logical step. Checking out the reliability and viability of the cloud service provider is one of the toughest decisions you need to take in this.

A proper homework is necessary, before evaluating the cloud based service providers. What is their experience, who are their clients and what is their reputation is the market are a few factors to look at, among several other. Talking to the existing and previous clients about their service is a good thing. Before choosing a cloud computing partner, follow the steps described below.

Cloud Administration

It is very important to empower the IT department so that they can supervise the whole process and can monitor every aspect of the new service they are going to hire.

  • Service level agreements and monitoring

Every company which is buying any cloud related service from any provider must accept a standard service level agreement (SLA) on which any dispute can be discussed and any the service level to be expected. No company should sigh a deal without an SLA which doesn’t talk of really heavy penalties on the service providers for not delivering critical services which can lead to operational and financial losses to the service procuring organization.

  • Support

Support problems are always present when applications or infrastructure are moved to the cloud. This is why agreeing on a level and efficiency of support is necessary for the provider and the service hiring party. Thus, the internal support team must be realigned to help in the traditional way and in the new cloud enabled way.

  • Billing and accounting

One of the major features of cloud computing is that you pay for what you use. This feature makes cloud a very affordable technology. The cloud based service provider must have a transparent and automated billing system so that the customers can view reports on their usage and the bill they must pay.  None wants a huge bill as a surprise package, especially when no prior notice has been served.

Cloud Technical Interface

To take the full advantage of cloud, the proper technology must exist on the client side. If the client is already on a service-oriented architecture (SOA), they can find this transition easier. However, if new to this field, the company must ensure that they can use the benefits of cloud computing to the fullest extent.

  • APIs and data transformations

API or the Application Programming Interface of any cloud based service provider is the interface using which you upload your service, application or the IT infrastructure to the cloud. This API should be highly standardized. For example, if the client company wants to build a bridge between the local data centre and the cloud version, the API must allow them to achieve this and enable free two-way data flow.

  • Data and application architecture

The internal services which support the business to grow and sustain the growth must align well with the cloud services. These services can exist on both the platforms. This means the service should be modular enough to roam freely between local datahouse and the cloud.

The data must be packaged and managed for additional level of security. The client company should be able to manage data independently, irrespective of the changes in the packaged application or the data storage or the transactional system. The client company, thus, should have the basic and consistent definition of data elements to handle cloud-based information service.

  • Security in the cloud

Like we discussed in the last point, security is as important as anything in cloud enabled services. The security must be tight and well-defined and the cloud based service provider must assure their clients of the same. There are many levels of security involved.

  • Identity management: this will help to authorise and restrict and give controlled access to applications and/or hardware resources to any personal or a group of employees.
  • Access control: exact access control must be enabled and available in the cloud system to protect valuable resources from being used without restriction.
  • Authorization and authentication: a secure authentication mechanism must exist so people with the right level of clearance can modify settings of the cloud, application or data.

A detailed and all-encompassing security infrastructure must be provided from the cloud service providers. Developers also should be given the tool to secure the access of their designs in the cloud. Consistent security must be enabled for the clients for their cloud data and their own warehouse which interacts with the cloud freely.

Only after verifying these aspects in greater details should one hire the cloud computing service provider.