With many organizations entering Q4 planning and budgeting sessions, now is a great time to evaluate the performance of your cloud service provider (CSP). Wondering where to start? HOSTING offers six key metrics in which to determine if your CSP is providing the technology, service and support you need.
1) Is your cloud service provider monitoring your resource usage?
Cloud sprawl is a huge issue for organizations, especially for those who don’t have a single entity overseeing cloud investments. It’s not uncommon for departments to spin up a virtual machine for a short-term project, then forget to decommission it when the project is over. Review your cloud environment with your CSP and identify any assets that need to be added or eliminated. A good CSP will let you know if your servers are under- or over-provisioned, and make recommendations on how to rebalance them in order to achieve cost efficiencies.
2) Is your CSP up-to-date on the latest security practices?
As HOSTING product manager Tricia Pattee emphasized in her recent webinar, How to Spend Your Cloud Security Dollar, prevention, detection and response are essential to safeguarding your organization’s data. So make sure your CSP has a process in place for regularly updating their security standards. Also consider how your CSP has performed in regards to the following:
- Have they taken responsibility for your data and provided security guarantees?
- Have they offered visibility into any security events and responses?
- Have they provided you with monthly security reports?
Now is also a good time to review the results of your CSP’s own security audits to check for any instances and/or gaps in their security posture.
3) Has your CSP kept up with compliance?
Recent security breaches experienced by industry stalwarts such as Anthem and JPMorgan Chase have resulted in organizations facing increased scrutiny for adherence to compliance mandates. If your organization is subject to compliance by HIPAA/HITECH or PCI DSS, it’s essential that your CSP ensures you have the right coverage to comply with these standards while meeting your overall business needs. They should also have a dedicated team of certified information security and compliance experts that can track your compliance activities on an ongoing basis, and support you during annual compliance audits.
4) Has your CSP provided you with a seamless support experience?
Does your CSP provide you with 24 x 7 x 365 access to Tier 2 and Tier 3 support specialists? Do they maintain dedicated run-books and architecture diagrams for your solution so that you never interact with someone who is unfamiliar with your environment and business needs? Does your CSP provide a robust, intuitive customer portal that allows you to provision, monitor and manage your cloud assets? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, reevaluate your relationship with your current CSP.
5) Do your CSP’s solution offerings address your future plans?
Perhaps you started with a colocation solution and want to upgrade to a private cloud. Or you’ve expanded your business and want the flexibility, security and compliance that cloud desktops offer. Or you want the freedom to develop applications on a unified cloud. Make sure your current CSP has the resources in place to grow with you. If not, there’s no shame in migrating to another CSP that can meet your expanded needs. Just make sure you carefully review your service level agreement (SLA) in order to understand what it takes to get your data back.
6) Does our CSP provide you with detailed, straightforward invoices?
A common complaint that we hear from prospective customers is that their current CSP’s invoice is complex, confusing and chockful of hidden costs. If this sounds familiar, consider moving to a CSP that offers straightforward cloud billing – minus the surprises. An experienced CSP such as HOSTING provides clients with invoices that reflect customers’ current service usage – without hidden costs. As a result, HOSTING has helped customers realize more than 15% annual cost savings for customers by providing the following;
- Centralized billing
- Asset management, including decommissioning assets when appropriate
- Capacity and financial management
- Purchasing and change management processes
Whether you’re researching cloud service providers or evaluating your current CSP, HOSTING is here to help. Contact us anytime with your questions. Our complimentary white paper, 20 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Cloud Service Provider, can also help you determine what to look for in your current or future CSP.