The 3 Questions To Ask When Selecting A Cloud

Image courtesy of SMB Tech Guide Image courtesy of SMB Tech Guide

For many nonprofits, the move to the cloud is an obvious choice. It offers service when it’s needed, it has the capacity to greatly reduce daily operating costs, and it allows for great flexibility for its users.

The problem is, when nonprofits are preparing to choose a cloud provider, many fall flat. They are unsure of how to differentiate between providers, which will offers more value over another, and simply do not know what questions to ask.

Here are a few great questions to ask while you’re out shopping for your nonprofit’s cloud.

  1. How secure is the environment?

    If the provider you are meeting with cannot intelligently articulate to you the security of your network, it might be time to look elsewhere. You organization’s data is precious, and proprietary. It should be protected by at least the most basic levels of protection.

  2. Application level security. This ensures that all your data is only accessible by authorized and authenticated users.
  3. Data protection. This level ensures that your data is secure when traveling from the user’s device, to the cloud, and back to the user. Additionally, it ensures the data is secure while it is housed in the cloud to protect it from system failures and outages.
  4. Secure and monitored infrastructure. This level of certifiable protection ensures your nonprofit’s network infrastructure is monitored and unauthorized persons are kept from accessing your data, content, and kept from disrupting service.
  5. Finally, a cloud provider should be able to understand and articulate vulnerabilities that are associated with the level of access their own employees have to your nonprofit’s data. Your cloud provider should have organizational policies in place that at least minimize the chances of an internal data breach.

  6. What types of integration is supported?

    Cloud providers have standard solutions for integration. Be sure to understand what types of integration options they support, and how easy they are to implement.

  7. How accessible are supporting resources when I need them?

    When licensing, ensure your nonprofit has access to additional resources as necessary. Support for your cloud should be easily accessible and integrate seamlessly with your current team. Ask about customer support, how easily accessible it is, and what their standards are. Get a broad understanding of how your competing providers handle their customer support and make a decision after speaking with many different providers. Because they’re all so different, it can be difficult to discern which is better than another.

Here is another handy resource, courtesy of Skillsoft.

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