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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.

As for organisations who are not ready to completely outsource their IT needs to a third-party provider, starting with a local colocation implementation is the first step in adopting the "Think Global, Act Local' strategy.

Flexibility

In a relationship, though security is one important aspect, another important aspect is flexibility. Technology today is evolving at rapid speeds. Businesses too are no exception. When choosing the right IT partner, it is important to be able to have a partner that is flexible and is not only able to accommodate the changing needs of your firm, but is also able to keep up with them. The provider should be able to go down to the specifics and to tweak them if necessary.

An example of flexibility would include offerings such as the likes of block, file or object storage with capabilities of data replication, backup/archiving and data sovereignty.Flexibility would also mean that the exact instant that your brands needs more bandwidth, the provider will be able to meet this need.

Infrastructural Support

Lastly, when choosing a cloud provider, it is essential to choose a partner that completely understands the business needs of the firm. Before actually moving one's IT needs to a cloud provider, a proper technical interface must first be in place. Firms need to be able to work closely with their cloud service provider to ensure that this is indeed in place.  A comprehensive security infrastructure should also be provided so as to be able to combat any potential threats.

Twenty years ago, data centres were large warehouses with barely functioning cooling systems. Yet today it is a completely different story altogether. IT systems today are be all and end all systems. Stability and good infrastructure are highly important because any downtime is totally unacceptable for customers.

Of course when deciding which cloud provider to partner, budget should be one of the factors that your decision hinges on, but on "the" factor. Instead, security, flexibility as well as infrastructural support should be the biggest deciding factor. Once you forget false economies of scale, more often than not you'll be positively surprised by what quality costs.

 

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