How to Choose a Cloud Service Provider

“Despite some of the concerns, only 29 percent of the companies in the study said they engage in a heavy or comprehensive review of the cloud service providers’ security practices,” says Tim Herbert, research vice president with CompTIA. CIO.com

Hosting a cloud ERP solution, like any computing platforms, has to be managed. When a problem arises, you want the best support staff to take care of it. Choosing the right cloud service provider will ensure that your ERP system will run smoothly.

With such an important decision, only a mere 29% of companies are actually doing heavy review on cloud service providers. What can be hindering this process? When faced with an unfamiliar task, that answer can simply be: I have no idea where to begin.

We made this process easy to follow. Here is our guideline and flow chart to get you started in the right direction:

Step One: Understand your business requirements

Do you know how much support you need from a cloud service provider? With your entire company running on a single system, the last thing you want to deal with is weak support services, system outages, and poor data security. Reviewing your business requirements allows you to understand exactly what you need.

Step Two: Do Your Research

Once you understand the benefits, research different cloud service providers and see what they offer. The amount of information you are given can be overwhelming. These are some criteria to pay careful attention to:

Technical Expertise and Support

The cloud service provider needs to show sufficient evidence that they are proficient using cloud computing technology. They should be able to understand the premise of your business and provide the proper support you need. At WatServ, we specialize in Microsoft Dynamics hosting and have been in this domain for over 6 years. We assign you with specific support staff for your system. This way, your staff is knowledgeable about your support history.

Architecture Redundancy

A redundant cloud computing architecture will prevent outages and connection failures. At WatServ, we build in no single point of failure due to our proactive monitoring services and architecture redundancy. Our support staff is constantly monitoring your system so connection issues can be fixed before you are affected. Typical examples of built in redundancy: we have multiple internet connections from different providers, power lines from two different power grids, and back-up generators for our data center.

Security in the Cloud

When it comes to security, be sure to check if the cloud service providers are compliant with the latest security standards. At WatServ, we have satisfied many third party audits and met requirements such as SSAE16, HIPAA, PCI, SOX, etc. We also deliver protection through our firewall service, Enterprise Anti-Virus and Malware detection, and monitored data and backup integrity jobs. See full details of our security for Microsoft Dynamics here.

Step Three: Evaluate the Alternatives

Now that you have gathered the information you need to make an informed decision, evaluate each providers’ offering. Don’t be afraid to contact the company if you are unclear about specific terms.

Step Four: Choose your Provider

Choose the service provider you feel the most comfortable with.

Congratulations, after taking the time to do your research, you’ve successfully chose the right cloud service provider for you. By thoroughly understanding their services, it builds a sense of trust, which creates the foundation for a strong partnership. Contact WatServ for more information about our support services.

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