The advances in technology and infrastructure give Cloud Computing the opportunity to provide businesses with benefits including significant reduction in IT costs, ability to have access to your data from anywhere in the world, and the ability to free up internal resources in order to allow them to focus on the business development not the maintenance of server/network/application infrastructure.
It is only natural to be uncertain or feel concerned when there is a quick change in the industry, especially when your most precious asset, your DATA, is part of that “equation”.
I have compiled a list of questions that everyone should consider asking any potential Cloud Computing provider or vendor. Keep in mind that this list may not cover all aspects of your particular situation, but it will give you a pretty good idea of where to begin with when researching Cloud Computing providers.
- Where will my data be stored?
- Who will have access to my sensitive data?
- What controls do you have in place to ensure safety for my data while it is stored in your environment?
- What type of employee / contractor screening you do, before you hire them?
- Will my data be replicated to any other datacenters around the world (If yes, then which ones)?
- What is your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity strategy?
- Is your Cloud Computing service SAS70 compliant?
- Do you offer single sign-on for your services?
- How do you detect if an application is being attacked (hacked), and how is that reported to me and my employees?
- Do I have full ownership of my data?
- Will you provide me my data in a readable format – Pdf, Excel, Access…?
- Do you offer a way for me to run your application locally and how quickly I can revert to the local installation?
This list of questions will eventually grow longer and become better, but for right now I truly believe that a combination of good research and asking these questions will put you in a comfortable position to make a decision on Cloud Computing application or service for your company.
Check out my recent article on Cloud Computing: “What you need to know before you begin using Cloud Computing”
Word of advice: When it comes down to Cloud Computing – Do NOT assume, Ask questions!!!