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Practical Guide to Cloud Vendors Evaluation

Cloud is becoming an essential part of an organization’s IT strategy, however, many organizations still don’t know how to get their cloud journey started. Organizations considering moving their critical applications to the cloud must first adopt a well-rounded approach to evaluating cloud offerings as there are too many vendors who have flocked to this space in order to catch on to the ‘cloud wave’.

Below, we discuss some of the essential parameters you should consider while evaluating cloud partners.

Industry expertise

Each industry has its own set of trends, requirements, and best practices. With several players rapidly hitting the cloud space, it is always a good idea to align with a vendor that has significant experience and expertise in the same business sector that you operate in.

Security and Compliance

It is no secret that security concerns continue to be the most important roadblock to cloud acceptance for many firms. Ahead of security, organizations are concerned about compliance. An ideal vendor would be one that provides clear admin access controls, protection against internet security attacks and provides a cloud architecture that is designed for optimal protection.

  • Verify the vendor’s policy for protecting data. If you opt for a SaaS application, do check on the security and maintenance layers that is applied to the application. Also verify the dependability of their data center facilities and their data management practices.
  • Look out if the vendor meets the industry specific security and compliance requirements.
  • Verify if the vendors meet compliance standards such as PCI-DSS, SAS 70 Type II audit, US-EU Safe Harbor framework and the standards set by HIPAA and DIACAP

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

The industry is filled with vendors whose offering include tricky SLAs. The best approach you can adopt is to look through your entire operations and have clear expectations on availability, transaction time and other performance requirements. You can then verify with the vendor on whether those expectations can be met and design your SLAs accordingly. It is also extremely important to perform a thorough research on the feedback and reviews available on the vendor services. You can also ask the vendor to provide you with references that you can check on.

Technology Stack

Though the concept of cloud is essentially to let infrastructure, platforms and services to be independent of each other, in reality several cloud providers have aligned themselves to a particular technology stack. Considering a vendor whose technology stack aligns with that of your applications can save you a great deal in terms of time, resources, and expenses.

Interoperability

Hybrid Cloud providers offer users the flexibility to handle workloads across multiple environments. For example, you can place a few of your applications in a public cloud and a few others that require enhanced security in a private cloud. Evaluate the ease of moving applications and databases across different environments.

Transparency

When you are looking to move your mission-critical applications to the cloud, make sure the vendor is willing to be transparent about their operations, performance and problem management, disaster recovery plans, service-level management and usage management.

Integration Capabilities

Extracting maximum value out of cloud investments depends greatly on the ability to integrate all your applications (public, hybrid and on-premise) to operate in unison. For this reason, it is important to thoroughly evaluate the integration capabilities of the cloud vendors you are considering. Look out for the ability to provide data level, business logic and user interface level integrations and the vendor’s ability to provide access to a pool of integration experts when required.

Along with this, it is extremely important that you analyze the general health of the vendor’s business, in terms of financial and operational performance. This ensures that the vendor is a serious player in the market and would continue to invest in providing you with relevant and high-quality services. As with other software offerings, ability to demonstrate successful deployments, flexibility, costs and long-term price protection are also critical components in vendor evaluation.

Our experts at Solunus keep themselves updated on the latest offerings in cloud technology. We help organizations understand and evaluate the various offerings that are available in the market and help you in choosing the one that fits your exact short and long term requirements.

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