Choosing a vendor

Businesses are increasingly migrating to the cloud in order to deploy applications, scale resources on-demand, cut costs, among other benefits. In order to reap the benefits of the cloud, however, a company must first choose a cloud vendor, which is no small taking. Since vendors and companies work together, it is important to establish a relationship founded on a mutual understanding in advance. In determining which vendor works best for your company, keep the following questions in mind.

How do you manage your data?

Companies are required to abide by government regulations with respect to storing sensitive customer data. Consequently, security is a chief issue of concern when vetting vendors. While scanning the market, it is important to ask how a vendor manages data in order to make sure you abide by the regulations that impact your business. Consider visiting a vendor’s data center to see how they handle data in person.

Does the platform support company objectives?

Not all vendors are created equal. While various platforms are able to support various cloud service types, the majority are geared toward a specific service type. Due to this, companies should consider whether the products and services of particular cloud platform can help fulfill company goals.

Do you have a list of customer references?

A vendor ought to be able to answer how its solutions have been used by other customers to address similar challenges you are facing. Lip service only goes so far, however. You can request a list of customer references from vendors, ideally customers with similar objectives to your own. This will allow you to verify whether the experience of the customers aligns with the claims of the vendor.

Do you provide a try-before-you-buy-program?

Many vendors offer a “try-before-you-program,” which, as the name suggests, allows customers to test software before making a purchase. This often involves a registration process. The customer can then download a particular piece of software for a trial period. Google, for example, offers a trial program for its Cloud Platform, which allows usage of a small instance in Compute Engine, Cloud Pub/Sub, Google Cloud Storage and Cloud Functions.

Do you offer pay-as-you-go pricing?

Pay-as-you-go subscription models have become increasingly popular. As a result, the best providers usually provide a pay-as-you-go offering. Under a pay-as-you-go pricing model, customers are charged only for what they use similar to a utility bill. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Rackspace, for example provide OpenStack Private Cloud as a pay-as-you-go service. Microsoft also offers a pay-as-you-go subscription for use of Microsoft Azure services.

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