How to assess Cloud computing packages
What you should look for in your cloud package
When you are deciding on which package to go for, don’t go for any old cloud. There are big differences in the offerings out there, in terms of service and in terms of price. To help you decide what to go for, we’ve collated some features we think you should focus on:
Check whether you can add or remove services easily. You might have to move your data from one system to another when you ask for a new service. But then again, you might be able to get a number of services in a bundle. Shop around for the most user-friendly offering.
If you plan to grow your business, it is likely your cloud requirements will grow too. Determine how well providers scale up. Some have tiered pricing, so if you grow from having 1,000 users a week to having 10,000, you should notice a positive impact on your cost model.
It’s always good to find out about data availability. How often you’ll be able to access your data could have a direct impact on your business. It should be a reasonable timeframe, and intervals should never be longer than 30 days.
Even if there is a service level agreement in place, ask your provider what they do with your data to keep it secure. This is one of the most important considerations.
There is a very large range of prices out there. Some providers will charge you up to $5 a month for storage, while others will charge a hundred pounds a week. You can get storage at 20 cents a gigabyte from some providers – so it can be pretty cheap. Don’t just go for the cheapest: shop around for value and make sure you understand what you want from your cloud provider.
You need to make sure that you will be able to use your cloud package optimally. Check whether it will work on a Mac and on a PC. The cloud should work well on different browser environments, whether that’s IE or Firefox or Google Chrome. You should also ensure you have sufficient bandwidth to use your cloud fully: most of the time there is a need to upgrade to a broadband connection at least.
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