13 Mar 2017

Choose the right partner for your cloud journey

A recent Gartner survey reported that nearly 90% of CIO’s don’t fully trust the Cloud.

Partnering with a Cloud provider can be a daunting endeavour and should not be treated lightly. It’s no different to selecting any other technology partner, so how do you know they will they be a good fit for your business?

If you move to a Cloud provider your company data is now held under another companies control and is subject to that Cloud providers’ policies, SLA’s, resources, infrastructure, data management and their ability to continuously deliver the services you expect from them. This means a close partnership and alignment of strategy is paramount from the very beginning.

Loss of Control

Moving all of your servers to a Cloud partners means that you will lose some control; you will no longer be able to physically see your assets anymore, like servers buzzing away in your server room. You will no longer have your internal IT team ready to respond to any issues.

Governance

To maintain the same level of ownership and governance you have with your internal teams, you must establish change management procedures that give you appropriate levels of visibility and control. The Cloud providers’ security and data protection practices need to be carefully woven into the processes that your business is comfortable with.

Digital First Strategy

With Gartner also finding that a “digital first” approach was the number one CIO strategy priority, yet the Gartner survey reported that nearly 90% of CIO’s don’t fully trust the Cloud it is understandable to see why choosing the right partner for your Cloud journey is such a challenging task. If your company is working through this process now, you are not alone. These issues are common for nearly every transition to the Cloud.

Ask the Questions

We have compiled a list of questions that you can ask, to ensure your journey is completely transparent, and that you maintain the control and governance you require.

  • What is the latency between your office/s and the Cloud Provider and is it acceptable? (This is one of the most important questions to ask. If you are unable to work at an acceptable level because the hosting or your network connection is poor then all the other questions become redundant)
  • How long has the cloud provider been in business? (What experience do they have?)
  • Where is, your data held and who has access to it? (i.e. Is the data held in your country?)
  • How do you get the data back if you want it? (Process, format, time frame and costs associated?)
  • What is the SLA up-time (99.95% etc., What is the penalty for breach of up-time?)
  • What is the backup retention and policy? (Where is, it stored, for how long, in what format?)
  • Can they guarantee performance? (Is there a poor performance break clause?)
  • What is the Cloud providers DR Strategy? (RPO’s and RTO’s, should a disaster occur)
  • How do you access your Cloud hosted environment (Can they connect directly to your WAN or do you access this over the internet?)
  • Can they provide case studies and real clients to speak with?
  • What is the underlying hardware age (hardware lifecycle?)
  • How is it secured from other companies on the same Cloud platform? (What security do they have in place?)
  • How do they protect themselves from external attacks? (DDoS, IPS, malicious attacks)
  • Is the Datacentre certified? (ISO 9001, 27001?)
  • How is the pricing model structured? (Monthly, consumption based, etc.?)
  • Does the product deliver what your business needs from it? (Aligning to your business drivers)
  • What is the support structure (How easily can you talk to people that actually help you?)

Completing due diligence on your new technology partner should allow you to fully understand the risk and reward of your investment:

If you would like to sit down with any of our Cloud specialists at Brennan IT, we would be happy to go through these questions with you. Call us on 1300 500 000.

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