Choosing the cloud based service providers is becoming difficult as more and more players join the field offering similar features and almost the same pricing. What then, should ideally be the factors to help you distinguish among them? Let us consider.

What helps you to judge cloud based service providers?

Of course, it is the timely and regular reports on the performance. However, the reports must contain those parameters which will help you to measure the performance and not those parameters which will only show off vague ideas about how good the provider is.

So, before signing the SLA, discuss with the vendor about the metrics they will send you the report of, so you can know how well your IT arm is doing and what are the measures you need to take.

Only an experienced cloud based service provider, however, can help you with those reports. And how do you know if they are experienced or not? Answer is only by checking the list of the existing clients. Ask them for the list and have look. Do you find any influential or known name there? If yes, then probably this particular provider is doing a great job of delivering what they promise.

Customer service to these existing clients, or the past clients, will tell you of the level of professionalism they display. If they don’t look knowledgeable or organised, probably this vendor is not a good choice. Any decent enough cloud service providing company will have a professional customer service team ready to help out the client’s 24*7, 365 days a year.

They should also offer flexible costing because any high value fixed price package will make it impossible for the small and mid-sized businesses to afford their services. In most of the cases, the vendor should offer a pay as you go or PAYG mode with a very nominal fixed monthly subscription fee. This will help the SMB to opt for their services better and plan the budget accordingly. The vendor should also offer a “cancel any time” without any financial fine or a long notice period.

These are two major factors which you should look for; however, this list isn’t conclusive. You should also look for scalability, service level agreement (SLA), data security and the physical infrastructure of the cloud based service providers. Additionally, you should also judge whether if you really need to opt for a cloud service computing or not.