Cloud Cover – Considerations before heading into the cloud
Cloud-based telephony technology is growing with businesses of all sizes. The cloud’s capacity to store, host and deliver SaaS is too appealing for many companies to pass up. Cloud services offer a flexible and more affordable alternative to maintaining everything on-site.
But before you get your head lost in the clouds, there are definitely a few key points to consider:
Find out as much as you can about any cloud services vendor you are considering.
Every year, the number of vendors in the cloud is increasing to handle the rapidly expanding demand for cloud services. Some are large and well-established, others are smaller start-ups, and many are somewhere in between. However, the best way to know your vendor is to check references – see what their customers are saying about them. You will want a cloud vendor that can deliver the services you need reliably and in a timely manner. If questions arise with slow response times or issues with problem resolution, you may want to steer clear.
Address any legal issues that may come up.
Your company may have certain rules, regulations or even laws that govern how data is treated. If it is sensitive data (for example government documents), you will want to choose a cloud services vendor that understands the legal issues of your field and can abide by them. It might be necessary to make sure the vendor understands the latest privacy laws and, if needed, have a confidentiality agreement in place. Whatever your legal concerns are, it is important to consider them upfront and address them with a vendor before moving to the cloud.
Determine if you need another backup plan.
Backup of data is definitely a hot-button issue for cloud services vendors. The last thing you want is to have valuable data vanish in the clouds. In all likelihood, your data should be just fine on your cloud vendor’s servers but if you would like some added security there are options out there. You could manually export data from the cloud and back it up on-site. Or, there are specialty vendors that offer cloud backup services. Typically, these companies allow you to keep backup copies of data on local servers or in other locations.