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Most companies are moving to cloud storage from solid-state storage systems and hard drives. Those that have not made that transition yet are considering moving their email and critical documents to the cloud by the end of 2018. By the end of this year, almost 60% of all businesses in the US will have at least one cloud storage unit for their operations data storage.

Why are companies shifting to the cloud?

It brings down the cost of business operations at multiple levels. It can even streamline the workflow and reduce the need for in-house maintenance staff for the hard drives. It makes data storage a lot safe. Natural calamities and human-made disasters cannot affect critical business data. It becomes much easier to work with remote employees and collaborate with international groups. Your employees can work from home, yet they can stay in touch with the latest company updates if you adopt a cloud architecture for your business data storage.

Small businesses can finally focus on real business concerns without worrying about data storage, security and database updates. Most IT concerns automatically become the priority of the cloud services rather than the company owners. It leaves much time for more critical thinking as far as business administration is concerned.

Why is there an increasing concern with cloud storage services?

With the growing number of companies providing data storage, the quality of services is becoming the prime concern for many entrepreneurs. The lack of optimum backup and security will pose a threat to the consumer data and business data. The lack of adequate firewalls will expose your business database to malware attacks and DNS attacks, which cause extensive periods of server downtime. Since most online companies choose to store their data on the cloud, their entire operation depends upon the quality of data storage services.

Here are ten questions you should ask the potential providers to find the right option for you –

What kind of cloud services do you provide?

Software-based cloud services include the likes of Dropbox. It is ideal for small businesses with small quantities of data in the form of photo, video and online documents. QuickBooks is a smart online accounting service for all businesses, and Salesforce is a complete CRM platform. Both of these are ideal cloud storage services for small and medium businesses. In fact, a lot of large corporations and enterprises also depend on Salesforce for their customer relationship management and database management. If you need something more than basic storage service, you may want to try NYC IT support services, Amazon Web Services, GoGrid and IBM Smart Cloud Enterprise. These are premium services with IT networking infrastructure.

What security features does the service offer?

Security measures are crucial at any level of data storage. When shifting to the cloud, you should ensure that it provides the latest updates to your database. It employs the latest security updates for safeguarding the company’s data. Your cloud service agency should be able to tell you which versions of security software or what kind of data encryption they are using to safeguard your data.

Ask about the following –

  • Firewalls
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Anti-virus software
  • Hacking attack detection
  • DNS injection attack defense
  • Data encryption
  • Routine security checks and updates

Do not forget to ask about the data access at their company level. Knowing who is getting access to your business data besides your own employees is critical for your business and consumer safety.

Where is the main data center?

You may think you are moving to cloud hence the physical location of a data center does not matter. However, you need to know where the company’s data center is to make sure their servers are safe. For example – companies in Florida and Huston are heavily suffering from the back to back hurricanes of 2017 summer. Some offices are experiencing extensive flooding with days of blackouts. It can cost your company millions in terms of loss of sales through no fault of your own. Similarly, fires, earthquakes and flash floods can take a toll on your website and business. Find out how well their facilities are protected before you sign the deal.

The best grade of a cloud agency’s security is the SSAE 16 certification. It is the Standards for Attestation Engagement 16 certification, which makes sure that the company’s systems and data are in line with the current industrial security standards for privacy protection of the consumers. It also ensures data backup, redundancy, and physical security.

How do they address data loss?

In spite of all precautions and security measures, data losses do occur. Sometimes due to physical compromise of servers and at other times due to malware attacks. While losing data can be detrimental to business, most companies do not know what they can do to mitigate their losses immediately.

Always ask about the company’s SLA, which addresses potential data loss. Will you get any due compensation for the loss and the harassment? What kind of data backup and redundancies do they have in place to immediately patch through the data losses? Have they ever lost any consumer data before and what did they do about it?

Do they offer 24/7 customer services?

Most services now have online chat clients and bots. Customers can access their chat services 24/7 for common issues. However, to know about data failure and other authority access issues, you may need a better guidance. You need to specifically find out what kind of assistance they provide to clients like you. Ideal cloud services should be available every day including holidays! Make sure you that will be interacting with experienced engineers and not customer service reps who will be reading off scripts and shuttling you from department to department.

Choose a company with minimum downtime history. The company should provide a flexible storage service that scales up with your business. Always work with companies with credible client history and great online reviews. Do not go for a mediocre company with a questionable reputation to save a few bucks. You will end up paying a lot more in the long run! Visit https://americantechpros.com/ and find out more about the services we provide.