Choosing a cloud service provider is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You need to make sure the company you choose is capable of storing your data as securely as possible while providing a solution that works for your business.

With that in mind, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask some serious questions:

Software and Contracts Questions

  • Can I try the software/service before making a commitment?

This is a great way to see if the solution actually meets your needs before spending a lot of money. If they won’t give you access to the full product, see if they have a trial or limited version that you can try.

  • Do you have any stories of successful similar deployments?

Ask for specific case studies that deal with businesses in the same industry or with the same needs. You can also ask to talk to current and past clients.

  • How flexible is the contract? Will the price remain constant? Is there a termination fee?
  • Can we configure a solution to specifically meet our needs?

Don’t be afraid to ask if you can tweak certain aspects of the solution to more fully meet your needs.

Security Questions

  • Where is your data center? What security measures are in place at the physical location?

Different countries and locations have different laws regarding data security. Find out where the data center is and what physical measures they take to prevent data loss.

  • What certificates do you have for data protection? How will you store my data?

Find out about encryption, both on their servers and in transit. If they do encrypt data, ask that you control the decryption keys.

  • What happens in the event of data corruption? Similarly, what is your disaster recovery process?
  • Do they offer data duplication?
  • Do you offer backup storage? If so, how often is it stored, and where?

If it’s possible, you may want to find out if they can store a back up of your data in a completely different data center.

  • Do you have a service level agreement? If so, what is it?
  • Who has access to my data? How do you screen employees?

This is vital. Find out what measures they take to make sure that your data is protected from prying eyes.

At the end of the day, you will want to make sure that you pick a provider you are comfortable with and that you trust to meet your needs. Choose one that’s flexible and will allow your business to grow.

What cloud questions do you recommend asking?

Author Bio: Matt Smith works for Dell and has a passion for learning and writing about technology. Outside of work he enjoys entrepreneurship, being with his family, and the outdoors.