46% of companies in the UK plan to invest in cloud services in 2018 according to a recent study by Beaming, but what should you be looking for when selecting a cloud provider? Adoption of cloud services delivers access to a wider pool of expertise, strengthened security and agile technology without the significant upfront cost, but it’s not as simple as going with the cheapest option – there are many factors to consider if you want your business to adopt a cloud first strategy.

Here’s our helpful guide on what to consider when choosing the right cloud provider:

  1. Choice

Cloud is not one size fits all. There are a plethora of options out there and it’s important to find the right solution to meet your business goals. In order for you to be sure you’re getting the most out of the cloud, it’s best to go for a provider that has experience of implementing and supporting a range of cloud options such as a secure private cloud, public cloud such as Azure or a hybrid cloud platform that offers flexibility. Your partner should take the time to understand your current requirements, existing infrastructure and applications but also futureproof your investment to help achieve your future goals.

  1. Scalability

One of the major advantages of cloud hosting is the ability to scale your resources according to the fluctuating demands of your business. You’ll want to be sure that you can increase your resources as and when needed, so choose a provider that offers you flexibility and control over this or you could end up restricted down the line.

  1. Technical support

If something goes wrong, you need the reassurance that your cloud provider will be on hand to solve the issue quickly. Technical issues don’t sleep or take holidays, so it’s vital to have a provider who can give you the level of support your business needs.

  1. Effective communication

Depending on what cloud solution you go for, your provider may essentially become an extension of your IT team. This means it’s important you’re able to work together and get in touch with them easily and quickly. Ideally there should be multiple ways of getting in touch, such as email, phone, or a service desk.

  1. High availability

Downtime can have a significant impact on the productivity and potential reputation of your business. Make sure your chosen cloud provider has a proven track record of using top-of-the-range hardware and infrastructure which guarantees uptime.

  1. Layered security

The GDPR has put an emphasis on how important it is to take security seriously. If you suffer a data breach you could receive a significant fine, so you need to be confident that your data is being stored securely. Cybercrime is becoming increasingly sophisticated and it’s no longer enough to have just one form of security in place. Look for a provider that can offer layers of security, such as firewalls, malware protection, web security and web filtering.

  1. Seamless migration

You’ll want your move to the cloud to cause as little disruption to your day-to-day operations as possible. It’s important to have reassurance that your chosen provider will be able to provide the level of assistance you need. They should be able to spot and work with you to overcome potential bumps in the road before they arise, such as compatibility issues between legacy applications.

Whether you need a secure private cloud, public cloud or a hybrid cloud platform, we have the expertise to advise and implement a solution tailored to your needs, backed up by over 35 years’ experience delivering innovative cloud-based services to both public sector and commercial organisations across a range of industries. Our cloud services include co-location managed services, fully managed services, DRaaS, off-site cloud backup and Office 365. But don’t just take our word for it – read more about the solutions we’ve delivered for our customers in these case studies.

Our cloud readiness assessment is the first step to help determine the best plan for your business. Get in touch today if you’d like to find out more.