I’ve been working with a Top 100 Telecoms organization on their cloud strategy so I was interested to see PwCs findings on the Top 25 Fastest growing cloud companies.* I thought it was a great overview of what can make a cloud partnership successful.
However, while the PwC article explores what customers are looking for and how vendors are addressing this, my experience suggests you also consider these 3 points when choosing your cloud provider:
Is their cloud security really the biggest consideration?
I believe that this is one of the main issues on people’s minds and probably seen as the biggest barrier to moving to the cloud.
The reality is that cloud security has advanced so much that I’d now say it’s way ahead of many desktop systems and certainly ahead of mobile phones! Amongst the reasons for this is market demand - cloud providers have had to step up because of the customer concerns and have invested heavily as their reputation and business cannot afford any points of failure
As cloud security is now managed by security specialists, the advantage of cloud compared to the typical situation of on premise where the IT department manage it, is that the IT department can now offload this responsibility and avoid risk of security breaches and typically at a lower total cost of ownership.
So in principle, the security of your cloud vendor should not be a nasty surprise. However, here are 2 more considerations that are just as critical.
Where in the cloud will your data be stored?
There are many differences in legislation between regions, for example the US and Europe. It’s worth considering under which legislation your data will be protected. For example, does the vendor have their servers in the US and the EU? Which server will your data be on? Which one do you want it on? Can the vendor guarantee this? And ultimately is your customers data protected?
Does Delete really work in the Cloud?
This can be a surprise. It is possible for you to delete data but for that data to remain in the cloud vendor’s system for some time afterwards. You need to ask when information gets deleted in the cloud and make sure this works for your organization.
As SaaS/ PaaS revenues of the Top 50 software vendors are now almost 10% of their total sales, vendors should have enough experience to resolve your questions. I’ve seen that with a reputable vendor, life in the cloud should be all you want it to be and safer than relying on internal hardware.