5 Things to Look for in a Cloud Service Provider

Cloud computing is a booming industry, with Dropbox alone recording 500 million users last year. Gone are the days of carrying a key chain of thumb drives or frantically emailing colleagues to find the most recent information. Cloud computing ensures you can always access whatever tools you need to help your web design team members always stay on the same page.

But with many cloud service providers (CSP) in existence, how can you know which one is best equipped to meet your web design requirements? Consider the following five factors when you’re looking for a CSP that’s right for your needs.

Is Cloud Access Easy to Use?

Being able to get access to your content and web services anywhere is the cornerstone of cloud computing. A CSP that makes this access tedious or unintuitive is not terribly useful. As with any other service, a CSP’s ultimate function is to remove hassles.

Decide whether a prospective CSP gives a good description of how its interface works. Does the CSP have a free trial version? You may want to test this free version to see if it’s well-suited to your operations.

How Do They Prevent and Mitigate Outages?

Even among more established providers, large-scale outages do happen. Some providers use features such as redundant storage sites to make sure you’re never cut off from essential cloud services.

CSPs may offer guaranteed service restoration times with penalties if they don’t hold up their end of the bargain. Look for these times in the user agreement.

What Extra Security Measures Does the CSP Take?

Controlling and monitoring who can access your information is critical. This monitoring will be one of your highest priorities if you deal at all with private or sensitive material.

Ensuring absolute security when working with a CSP is a two-way street, but making sure your CSP is using the most effective security and compliance measures such as two-factor authentication, firewalls such as Amazon Web Services, and 24-hour monitoring will cut the risk of a potentially devastating breach.

Is Customer Service Responsive and Helpful?

Not everything will go according to plan all the time. When the unpredictable happens, you’re going to want a CSP with whom you can easily communicate. You should also be confident that the CSP you select will respond to your concerns effectively and promptly.

How Much Will the Service Cost Now and in the Future?

Many CSPs are fairly affordable when compared to the costs of building an IT infrastructure from the ground up with comparable features.

Nonetheless, looking at and comparing price points could save you the trouble of a tedious and difficult service transfer down the road. This point is especially true if you work with high-quality multimedia content in your web designs or any other assets that can quickly drive up your storage space requirements.

Ultimately, everyone’s needs are different. Thankfully, no shortage of CSP options exists, and most have a plethora of critical and user feedback for those shopping around. The process takes a bit of homework, but finding a CSP you can trust with the right features to help you succeed with your web design work is well worth the effort.