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Points to Consider While Engaging a Cloud Service Provider

Businessman holding a virtual cloud with applications

There is no shortage of information out there about cloud computing. But the more information, the more possibility there is for confusion over what benefits a business might accrue from cloud infrastructure. Many enterprises are not ready to accept this strategy as a magic wand, while some others are far quicker to jump into the fray. Migrating to any new technology is always fraught with dangers. Here are some points to consider when engaging a new cloud service provider.

Not all industries are a good fit for cloud technology

Many mature industries, such as traditional brick and mortar businesses, are unlikely to reap big benefits from migrating to a cloud environment. Not everyone is a Netflex-type company that can exploit the inherent capabilities of the cloud. If a business already has a stable, consistent online presence, it may be better to continue with the existing arrangement. Flexibility and seamless expandability, which are among the main benefits of a cloud service, may not required be here.

Does your cloud provider offer flexible services?

This point is crucial to your decision making process. Software, systems and processes are dynamic and change quickly in response to business stimuli. You may be currently working on a Microsoft platform, but this does not mean that you will never migrate to an open source operating system in future. It’s always a good practice to choose a vendor that offers all popular platforms as part of its repertoire.

Medium and large enterprises may already be working on different platforms and this would force them to opt for a multi-platform vendor.

Service Level Agreements

On paper, SLA’s (or service level agreements) may look impressive, but in reality they could be totally inadequate. You must look at the fine print of a SLA, especially terms which define downtime.

It is advisable to discuss specific SLAs with the cloud service provider before signing on the dotted line. You must sort out all prickly conditions as a rule.


There are issues of compliance, governance and statutory requirements to which businesses need to adhere. You must make sure that the cloud vendor clearly defines every aspect of security and the measures they have put in place to deter and avoid theft and compromise of data. You must look beyond physical security in determining the capability of your cloud vendor. A comprehensive list of factors to look at, from a security point of view, can be found here.

Automation tools

One of the reasons why enterprises go for cloud technology is the level of automation in services. Automatic scaling of resources or server instances, load balancing, auto configuration and network management are some services which are must-have for any cloud environment. The front end tools are a crucial factor which will ultimately determine how smooth your online operations go.


Selecting a cloud vendor can be confusing. You must be clear about your own requirements before approaching a cloud service provider. The above factors must never be compromised while selecting a vendor.

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About the Guest Author:

Sankarambadi SrinivasanSankarambadi Srinivasan, ‘Srini’, is a maverick writer, technopreneur, geek and online marketing enthusiast rolled into one. He began his career as a Naval weapon specialist. Later, he sold his maiden venture and became head of an offshore Database administration company in Mumbai. He moved on as Chief Technology Officer of one of the largest online entities, where he led consolidation of 300 online servers and introduced several Web 2.0 initiatives. He holds a Master’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunication.

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