The top 3 questions you need to answer before choosing an IaaS provider
If you Google IaaS providers, you’ll find many articles and blogs on the top three, five or ten things you need to know – and almost all of them will say the same thing. That’s because technically speaking, many IaaS providers offer similar things.
Their facilities are secure, they have guaranteed uptimes of 99.99% or better, they use standard industry software, and staff are certified or trained. So how can you differentiate providers beyond the technical specifications and cost?You need to evaluate the provider like you would a new employee. They may have a great resume but be incredibly hard to work with for years to come.
The interview process is designed to help eliminate the candidates that are qualified, but just not a good fit for your company. The three questions we discuss below are similar questions you need to answer to find out if an IaaS provider will be a good fit for your company. Of course, you can’t ask these questions directly for the most part. Just keep them in mind during the selection process so you can discover the answers yourself.
3 questions you need to answer before choosing a IaaS provider
- How easy is it to work with them? This is probably the hardest one to answer before choosing your provider, Often you’ll be dealing with the sales team and have limited contact with the technical staff you’ll be communicating with after a contract is signed. Ask for a facility tour, request to meet the technical team, and be sure you’ve met the representative you’ll be working with for the duration of your contract (do you even have a dedicated contact person?). Then do a gut check about how you feel you were treated during all your contact with the company. Did you come away feeling like the people were genuine, willing to help, and interested in helping you succeed – or were they just closing a sale?
- How responsive are they? Whether you have a fully managed solution or bare bones management, there will be times when you need your provider to make changes. Maybe it’s tweaking a firewall, adjusting storage parameters, or any of the innumerable small changes that inevitably come up. Do you know how long it will take them to make the changes? Is there an agreement in writing of how fast they will respond? Do they honor it? We’ve heard horror stories of businesses waiting months to get a single port on a firewall opened with their old provider. To answer this question you may need to research on the web for external reviews, or maybe they are willing to share identifiable testimonials or metrics to prove their turn around times.
- Is their charging policy clear? You may think your contract terms are well defined, but many providers find ways to charge extra for certain tasks. The simplest requests somehow manage to be outside the contracted approved list. They may not charge very much for each request, but it adds up over the contract period. Believe it or not, this is business as usual for many providers. External reviews may be a good way to find out the answer to this question too, or you could ask for clarification of the contract terms with specific examples from your IT team.
The bottom line is choosing a IaaS provider is ultimately about the relationship, even partnership, you have or can develop with the provider. If the provider is just looking to close a sale and lock you into a contract to pad their pockets, then they aren’t likely to nurture the relationship after you sign the final documents. On the other hand, an IaaS provider focused on helping you meet your objectives so you’ll be successful is putting the relationship first and will continue to do so for the duration of the contract. If you’re ready to talk with a provider who understands how important your business is, contact us today on 0207 1000 424 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to answer all your questions.