Are you ready to join 90% of the world’s businesses who are on the cloud?
You want to upgrade to a brand new Windows cloud server. It’s going to increase efficiency and improve margins at your business. What could go wrong?
The answer? A whole lot. If you aren’t thoroughly and adequately vetting your prospective vendors, you may lose money before you even start making it.
Want to know the top qualities to look for when hiring a third party cloud host? This guide is for you.
How to Choose a Windows Cloud Server
When choosing a Windows cloud hosting vendor, the first thing you need to do is determine your business needs. After all, how are you to know if a vendor is right for you if you have no criteria to measure with?
Once you’ve outlined your must-haves and you can’t live without, it’s time to start researching the offerings out there.
Financially, any vendor you work with should be stable, healthy, and backed by investors. If a vendor doesn’t have sufficient capital to do the things they promise, they will mark them off your list.
In addition to the capacity to run the business, any vendor you choose should also know how to run a business, which includes having the technical know-how.
Strategies for Growth
Any vendor you work with should be actively developing their business. A stagnant vendor is one you won’t see innovate and change with your needs and desires for your Windows cloud server.
- Risk management policies
- C-level and below management structure
- A formal process for assessing M&A opportunities
While all these factors are the basis of running a good business, they also show you that your cloud vendor has a vision for the future.
If you don’t trust the vendor you’re working with, then why are you working with them? Before you hire a company, you need to examine its values. Don’t choose a vendor you dislike or whose principles you disagree with.
Ask around about the vendor’s reputation. Examine the vendor’s experience with companies and projects like yours. Most businesses post their reviews on their website, but you can also find reviews on web hosting companies.
Top Tip: Compliance Auditing
To determine the business health of your prospective vendor, hire a third-party to perform a compliance audit. Ask for a performance report while you’re at it to measure the vendor’s claims against reality.
SLA stands for Service Level Agreement and details all the things a vendor is contractually obligated to do and provide for you. Most vendors provide at least a basic level of support, while others offer you complete access to the vendor’s IT team.
The SLA should also outline how the vendor will monitor resources and manage any changes made to the system during your terms of service.
While you should be asking as many questions up front as possible, sometimes you don’t know if a vendor is worth it until you see the numbers. Automated billing can more easily help you track vendor ROI.
Make sure to ask if the company offers support for any issues that arise during the billing process. Accounting issues can be complicated. To solve them fast and accurately, you need an expert to focus on the financials so you can do what you do best-run your business.
Ease of Processes
You aren’t the IT expert- that’s why you’re hiring a cloud service vendor. So processes you need to perform on the daily shouldn’t require any technical know-how.
For example, deploying, managing, and upgrading software should be secure and not require an IT expert. You should question whether the vendor offers APIs and data transform standards for simple cloud connecting.
Do you foresee a need to make requests, change log information, perform system tests, or make other changes? Then make sure your vendor of choice supports these capabilities in a structure that makes it simple for you to do it yourself.
Top Tip: Backup and Retention
As you’ll see next, data security is highly essential. One way to maintain the integrity of all customer data is to have policies and procedures in place for its use. One of the best ways to ensure customer data integrity is to backup and retain a record of all data stored on your Windows cloud server.
One of the biggest worries about the cloud is compromised data. To assure your clients and customers’ data is always protected, look for a vendor that has a comprehensive security strategy and structure.
The strategy should include policies about how to control access to data. These policies should consist of stipulations about who can make changes to the hardware and how to authenticate their identity. After all, a high-security strategy means nothing if anyone can log in and access data.
Don’t stop at the hardware, though. The location where you store your data should also have safety controls like:
- Co-located hardware
- Redundant networking and power
- Equipment and data protection if housed at a data center
In worst-case scenarios, you’ll want to know that your information and that of your customers are protected. Make sure the company has a plan for helping your business survive in case of disaster.
The Final Word on Windows Cloud Hosting
While these tips can prevent you from making a poor vendor investment, this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list.
Companies that host annual events may prefer a system to support event management capabilities. Still, others may have an interest in eventual migration to a hybrid cloud and want a server that supports that goal.
As long as you understand your Windows cloud server needs, you’re already one step closer to making a well-informed vendor choice.
Are you looking for a third-party cloud hosting business that checks all your boxes and more? Check out Heficed’s white label cloud hosting solutions today.