What to Ask When Arranging for Cloud Services
Nowadays it almost seems foolish to still be keeping your business files and documents on your own in-house company servers; servers that can be damaged and destroyed at any time which, should this happen, would result in the majority of your company data being lost for good.
It’s no surprise, then, that cloud services and cloud computing in general has gained significant steam over the past half a decade (though its been around for much longer than that, of course), with ever-increasing numbers of businesses seeing the advantage of moving their files from their own servers to the cloud. This popularity, and a push towards businesses to work this way, has meant many new players have been set up to offer these services to businesses and individuals alike. This creates competition in the marketplace, which is great for you, but it also makes the job of choosing one provider in particular that little bit harder.
To help make this decision a little easier for you, below we’ve provided you with some of the most important questions you can ask any particular cloud services provider (or find the answer on their website) that you’re interested in doing business with. In no order, ask your shortlisted cloud services providers…
How Important is Security to You
This may seem like an obvious question; one any companies you speak with are unlikely to mess up (they’re not going to say “it’s not important,” after all) but it’s something you should ask all the same, as it allows you to gauge their level of excitement surrounding the ability to keep your data private and secure.
If, when you ask this question, you’re simply given a standard, wishy-washy answer, you can be sure that they’re not going out of their way to ensure they have the best data protection systems in their field. This isn’t a simple home security system setup, after all. This is your company’s data, something which must be protected with the greatest possible care.
Do You Provide a Disaster Recovery Service
With that said, sometimes losses do occur, whether on your side or their side. Although you’re going to want to work with a cloud services provider that does all they can to ensure this never happens, you also want them to have a system in place in case it does.
This is what’s known as a disaster recovery service. With many UK-based cloud computing companies moving up towards Birmingham and other parts of the Midlands, nowadays you’ll find many IT companies in the Midlands that can provide you with a disaster recovery service should your data become compromised. This means continual backup of your data, designed to ensure there’s always a second (and third, and fourth) copy to fall back on.
Do You Have an Inbuilt CRM Platform
Not all cloud services providers have inbuilt customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, but those that do should absolutely be given greater consideration ahead of the others. CRM platforms are great for your business as they allow you to:
- Know your customers inside out: With a CRM platform based in the cloud you can build up individual customer profiles, helping you to get to know each customer intimately.
- Ensure no customer queries go unnoticed: No more lost communications, your IT company will ensure all customer queries are placed in your CRM platform.
How Fast is Your IT Support
Lastly, the speed in which a specific IT and cloud computing company replies to your support questions should be a key factor in helping you determined who to work with.
Even if you have a fair amount of knowledge in this area yourself, you’re still going to need certain questions answered from time to time, and when you do you’re going to want to receive a speedy response.
In conclusion, if you’ve finally made the decision to start moving your company files and documents into the cloud you should be encouraged by the number of companies offering these services, though at the same time you should take care to choose who you’ll eventually be working with; not all IT and cloud computing companies are made equal.