By Terry Corbell
The Biz Coach
Risk Management – Picking the Best Cloud Storage Provider
There’s been quite a buzz about using the cloud. Personally, I’m still not sold on using cloud services for many businesses. There have been too many problems, and I prefer to maintain controls to alleviate uncertainty in business.
Not to mention one of the lessons I learned very early — when there’s a lot of hype like there is with the cloud — go slow with due diligence.
Frankly, I’m not alone. A heavily credentialed expert performed a study and provides this surprise: Open source technology is preferable to the cloud.
But if you feel you must go the cloud route, remember choosing the right cloud storage provider is a must for risk management.
You have a vast array of options. Cost is important, of course, but so are your company’s risk-management needs – just like the federal government.
It’s taken two years, but now the government has launched FedRamp, the federal risk and authorization program. It established security standards for providing cloud services to the government. FedRAMP also provides agencies with monitoring tools to insure continuous compliance with security standards.
Those are important considerations.
So what about cloud risk-management for your business?
Here are basic questions to ask of your potential cloud provider:
- If they’re a large provider, has the vendor been qualified by FedRAMP?
- What is the company’s financial situation? According to federal data, there were 1,467,221 bankruptcies last year. Of which, 49,895 were business bankruptcies. Have a frank discussion with the supplier. Find out if they expect to gain or lose business in the next year. And ask about their cash flow, and for references regarding the status of their banking relationships.
- What would be their total charges? Is it a flat fee? What are the additional costs for storing each gigabyte or for transferring data?
- What about the security of their services, privacy commitment and data protection, and what does their service level agreement (SLA) provide? Keep in mind commitments for performance and reliability, and what happens if they fail to perform according to the SLA.
- What do they provide in the way of data availability each month? What will be the percentage of time you will be able to get into your data or add new data?
- What do they provide in data transfer rates? Data storage is important, but so is your ability to rapidly transfer your data.
- What level of data durability do they offer? That is the amount of potential data loss from data corruption.
- Does the vendor provide data shuffle or bare metal service? This service is a hard copy backup. Will you be able to present a hard-drive data copy to the cloud or will you be able to retrieve a copy of your data?
- What do they support in operating systems? Make certain they’re capable of working with all your operating systems.
- What are their backup services? You’ll have problems if they simply backup your data. You’ll also want assurances that they will back up all your computer applications and operating system, and will provide virtual servers for crashed systems.
From the Coach’s Corner, here’s a recommended article: How Small Businesses Can Capitalize on Cyber Strategies for Profit.
“It’s not a faith in technology. It’s faith in people.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.