Building a relationship with your cloud provider is rapidly becoming one of the most challenging situations of IT these days. While individual businesses and users can create cloud storage and other low-level functions swiftly and easily, a full service enterprise cloud will require an adequate amount of prep work.
Typically, there are a lot of questions that are to be asked of a potential provider, some might not even be obvious to IT management. Luckily, there are many articles on the web that list all the key questions to ask before you sign on the dotted line.
Even though most potential providers do a great job covering the basics like service reliability and data ownership, but it is worth noting that more fundamental questions should also be answered before you get to a point of talking to a specific provider.
So, before you get too caught up in all the clouds potential rewards, it helps to examine the risks. Because, a lot of companies plan to use the cloud as an extension of legacy IT infrastructure you need to know what measures you intend to take to properly protect your assets. Do you know how you plan to oversee the data governance? Also, do you know how the clouds infrastructure will impact any legal and regulatory requirements? The most important questions are, how easy will it be to change to a new cloud provider should you need to?
A lot of companies are moving to the cloud without totally understanding what they hope to get out of it. Most do not realize that even cloud resources should be directed at specific problems and where clear cut goals are used to measure failure and success. You should know what you want to accomplish to make it easier to select the right kind of cloud.
Since security is such an essential function, it is a good practice to ask what your provider will do to protect your very important data, but also what you will do to protect yourself. Enterprises that are looking to deploy to the cloud need to gather as much knowledge about security regulations which are always evolving because the world has become more versed in how the cloud operates. A lot of providers will offer a wide range of services including hardware isolation and SSL (secure socket layer) communications. It is always good to know what you need upfront will speed up your deployment process and make sure that you do not end up paying for something that you do not need.
It is something of a misunderstanding that the cloud will allow companies to outsource application and infrastructures to third party providers. It is more correct to say that management and operations are outsourced but the true responsibility for successful outcomes still remains where it has always been: on the shoulder of IT management.
So, before you turn to any cloud provider for help, make certain that you have both the capability and knowledge to help yourself.
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