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How to choose the perfect cloud partner

Chris Levanes, Director of Cloud and Managed Hosting Business Development, CenturyLink Technology Solutions | Oct. 28, 2014
With the wide myriad of cloud service providers in the market, the challenge now is not about deciding whether or not to jump on the bandwagon, but instead deciding who you will like to ride with.

Increasingly, we seem clouded by stories of cloud computing and how more and more companies are going to be coming on board the bandwagon.

We all know that some of the benefits of switching to using a cloud service includes reduced operating costs, as well as the ability to allow for a mobile workforce. Yet for most firms, building their own private cloud is an asset heavy exercise that places hefty demands on the respective corporation. It involves large capital investment, skilled resource and ongoing operational expertise. The solution then for most companies is to outsource one's managed hosting services.

Indeed much research has shown that there is an increasing number of companies relying on third parties to manage key pieces of their infrastructure. For example, Gartner predicted that in 2015, there will be a continued increase in demand for cloud services while a Forrester Research, estimated that the cloud industry will hit $241 billion by 2020.

With the wide myriad of cloud service providers in the market, the challenge now is not about deciding whether or not to jump on the bandwagon, but instead deciding who you will like to ride with.

Security

When deciding on a partner for your company's cloud services, it is important to choose one that you are not only able to enjoy the journey with, but to choose a partner that is also able to grow with you.  The first thing to do when looking for a potential partner is to first evaluate your business and to have an in depth understanding of what your needs are. Only by adequately understanding their business needs can firms be able to choose a partner that is best able to provide for them.

In a report published by Frost & Sullivan, for a majority of firms, the single most important factor in deciding on a suitable partner is security.In light of the numerous scandals, such as accounts on Dropbox and iCloud being hacked, it is no surprise that businesses have hightened concerns about security. Concerns are often centered around privacy surrounding the data, as well as the storage and retrieval of data. These concerns are not unfounded as an breach in security can result in firms amassing hundreds and thousands in losses.

With concerns about security, firms would if possible, seek to be as near their servers as possible. The "Think Global, Act Local" strategy is as such gaining traction among businesses. One of the most effective ways to adopt the strategy is to partner a provider that offers a delectable mix of local services, coupled with a global presence that provides adequate technical expertise as well as sufficient room for scalability - invest in a partner with a proven track record. Some of the most successful partnerships between brands and their IT solutions provider focuses on geographical proximity as one of its unique selling points, while emphasis their accolades and global presence.

 

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