Cloud computing may be all the rage for companies that want to take advantage of scalable resources, efficient IT operations, and access to software enterprise-style tools otherwise not available without an enterprise network infrastructure. While these opportunities are available with the right cloud provider, a lot of what’s understood about the cloud is missed by many firms. Here are 10 mistakes commonly made with cloud computing providers that are also avoidable with good planning:
- Cloud Services Are Not One Size Fits All – Cloud support is not the same from vendor to vendor. Cloud computing providers can be bare bones operations with very little support or they can provide a very robust platform. Others are industry-specific, like accounting cloud providers who focus on consulting and auditing.
- Which Cloud System? – There are multiple ways to use a cloud platform. A private, or internal, cloud affords a more in-house approach while being more costly and less flexible. Alternately, a public cloud service provider who services multiple clients could offer the same, if not better, security features for less. It’s important to know the similarities and differences in order to accurately compare options based on privacy, security, scalability and more.
- Ignoring Performance – As mentioned before, cloud computing providers are not identical. And that means they also have differing levels of performance and capacity for clients. Some may offer robust features, like access to unlimited previous file version histories to retrieve past file versions, limitless storage space, and military grade encryption, while others may fall short. Be aware of your business’s needs and expectations of a cloud provider so you can pick the one that will perform all of the functions you need.
- Expecting Any Software to Work on Any Cloud – Various enterprise-type software tools have specific requirements for smooth operation. It’s foolhardy to assume that any software will automatically work on a different cloud platform without checking compatibility first. Before selecting one, ensure it will be compatible with your tools.
- Assuming Any Operating System Will Work – If your company relies on a Windows OS, Linux, or OSX environment to operate, make sure you’ve selected a cloud provider that works with them. While OS compatibility is easy to confirm, many companies don’t ask until they are in the thick of a migration. While technology and compatibilities are advancing and becoming more robust everyday, many cloud computing providers still service a narrower market. Never assume, and always verify OS compatibility first.
- The Cost of Any Service Will Be the Same, Right? – In a word, “no.” And often, you get what you pay for. Quality cloud computing may cost more, but offer more features, protection and customer service, whereas a free or bottom of the barrel service may only provide the bare minimum, and may not even do so consistently. If you’re budget conscious, wait until you’ve found an affordable cloud service provider that offers all of the features your business needs. They can be found if you know where to look.
- Ignoring Support – One of the biggest revenue-generating models in the IT business is ongoing support. Some providers are more hands-on than others, and service levels can even vary plan by plan. How that gets charged can be a big surprise for a client if not identified before committing to a cloud system. Don’t wait for a hidden fee surprise; determine your support cost up front and consider choosing a plan that has support built-in if you want to guarantee you’ll have access to the help you need when you need it.
- Not testing providers – If you’re stuck between multiple providers, or are on the fence about one, you can get an inside look at how the provider will work for you by either taking a free trial or asking the provider for a demo. If you’re uncertain, you don’t have to jump in blindly. Asking other businesses or IT professionals for referrals can be another good option when you can’t decide or don’t know where to start.
- Assuming Everything Must Move to a Cloud – Just because cloud computing providers offer a move to a new platform doesn’t mean that everything has to go right away. Depending on the service you’ve selected, a slower migration is often a smarter path, especially if glitches start to pop up along the way that need modifications. You may also want to work with your cloud provider to help you determine your migration strategy, depending on the size and amount of data you have.
- Forgetting Disaster Recovery – Despite the best systems, wipeouts and failure happen. So what’s plan B? If there’s not a solid recovery plan in place, you could quickly lose your critical data with no guarantee of complete recovery.
With a focus on data protection and recovery, Nordic Backup is a key cloud backup provider companies should consider as a preventative defense to data loss. While mitigating disasters is a goal that all users should strive for, this is not always possible. Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone, whether you’re prepared for it or not. By installing cloud backup on your business devices, the Nordic Backup experts can help you restore your data quickly, or even instantly depending on your needs should a loss occur. With Nordic Backup, you’re already back in the game before the loss is done creating damage. Prevention is the best defense.
Click here to start a 90 day free trial of cloud backup for your business with Nordic Backup.
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