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Finding the perfect cloud service provider

September 05, 2013

One of the biggest barriers to immediate and widespread cloud adoption has been worries over the security of client and company information, leading many firms to increase their IT staffing as they transition to this technology.

Recent events with the National Security Association (NSA) have only renewed these concerns and brought them to the forefront of CIOs' minds. As a result, more firms are investigating the private cloud to secure against intrusions in addition to focusing on the specifics of the terms and conditions offered by their cloud service providers.

Ask the right questions    
There are a number of items IT departments will want to address before recommending a solution and signing a contract with a cloud service provider. In a recent article for Open Source, IT managers were advised to begin by looking at in which country their chosen provider operates. Why? Because depending on the location, different privacy laws will be in operation, affecting the overall security of a business and its clients.

"More often than not users overestimated the power of the IT company and the glorified nerd when making assumptions about who could get access to their data," the news source explained. "But even the most committed privacy advocate cannot protect your data when the alternative is prosecution with all the government's might."

Secondly, encryption can always be reversed. While any IT manager will advise his or her firm that data should be encoded—and will be right in doing so—encryption is only as strong as the relevant laws of the host country. If effective regulations aren't in place, companies may see their data just as easily "decrypted" and sold to a competitor or worse, Open Source asserted.

Researching a cloud provider's reputation can also help IT departments flag warning signs. For example, Business 2 Community advised firms to watch out for providers that have a lack of long-term or difficult to terminate contracts, as it means they likely are not investing in the necessary infrastructure. Additionally, prospective buyers will want to seek further information from current and former clients to ask about their experiences and reasons for staying or leaving, according to the news source.

Companies can streamline this process with the right IT talent management. These experienced professionals know how to pinpoint a business' needs and find the established service provider to match.

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