Moving to the cloud is a primary directive for most companies these days. Cloud technology allows for a number of useful optimizations to be employed – saving business owners plenty of revenue and building on established consumer value.

However, moving any subset of your organization’s activities and functions over to the cloud is a serious step to take in the general development of your business. To make the right choice when it comes to acquiring cloud-based software, you need to ask the right questions.

Asking the right questions involves knowing precisely what is most important for the well-being of your business and its continued growth. There are numerous factors to consider when you judge the applicability of any platform or suite you wish to bring into your company’s digital infrastructure, but only a handful of these factors can make the platform in question either good for your company or a mistake waiting to happen. In this article we will discuss a few of the most important cloud-related questions you should ask to better understand the platform you are considering.

Is it secure?

Assessing the relative security level of your chosen cloud-based platform or service is extremely important. In most cases, the security options available to users of services that reside on the cloud are significantly lower than options hosted locally. With that having been stated, though, it is also pretty important to consider the fact that security standards are still reasonably high as regards actual performance against threats. Locally-hosted solutions will always outperform cloud systems on the level of security, but this might not be applicable if the cloud option you are considering is safe enough to ward off threats and handle disasters to a reasonable extent.

Is availability an issue?

Downtime can become costly to your business – inhibiting the solidification of multiple deals and warding off customers who lose trust in the security of your brand. Thus, considering downtime as you sort through cloud platforms is a smart thing to do. Platforms like Amazon’s web services promise 99.9% uptime with a reimbursement guarantee on this promise where applicable. If downtime is a primary concern for you, then this kind of offer should be an attractive one.

What is the cost?

This is an obvious point of contention for many businesses on the lookout for a cloud service that they can integrate into their operations. In many cases, prohibitive costs cannot be properly justified when the rewards inherent to the use of the system in question are not high enough. Thus, considering the price point of the platform that interests you is always a good idea. Determine what the platform actually does for you; what it helps you with. Make sure that the value it brings to the table justifies the cost it commands. 

Can it be used alongside a local system?

Going completely virtual can be a bad move to make if your business already benefits greatly from local solutions. Of course, some services and platforms on the cloud could still potentially add value where your own local systems are struggling. Having the option of either running the solution in question locally or integrating it with local options can be extremely beneficial. Make sure that the platform you want meshes well with your established solutions on and off of the cloud before you make your investment. Avoid options that do not work well with local systems.

How well does it integrate with your current platform?

This is a similar point to the issue of locally-hosted system compatibility. Just as your chosen solution needs to work well with whatever locally-hosted systems you have on hand, it should also play nice with any other cloud platforms you are utilizing. If you are looking to take on an insight delivery solution, for instance, the data it gives you should incorporate your other platforms seamlessly. Druva does this by integrating its disaster recovery options into all of your established data locations.

Are there any additional features?

This is always a good final point to consider as secondary features can often turn out to be a lot more important than you may have thought. Find out what the extras are ahead of time so that you can factor them into your final decision.

The questions we’ve mentioned in this article are excellent for assessing the relative utility of any cloud-based service on offer. They are a great starting point for you and your team as you research the best alternatives for whatever service you may be considering. Of course, there are plenty of additional questions for you and your team to take into account, but these depend on the specific types of services you are looking to acquire and can vary significantly.

Any digital investment that makes use of cloud technology has the potential to be incredibly useful to you, but you need to accurately assess its value in relation to the precise features you are hoping to have access to from the start. A couple of great services were mentioned in this article and it will probably help for you to give them a peek if they appear to be suitable for the purposes you have in mind.