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How To Choose The Right Cloud Data Management Platform

With the externalization of more and more IT systems ensuring that you are in fact picking the correct vendor for the cloud can become a crucial thing when it comes to the long term success of your business. Right now the market is huge and you will find providers who promise you a range of services. This varies from giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon to more niche players. How does one choose the perfect provider for them out of so many?

Here is a distillation of all the key factors that must be taken into account when choosing the cloud data management that suits your needs.

When Do You Need a Cloud Provider

Before you know you are ready to pick a cloud provider, it is critical that you understand what stage your business is at — what are your particular business needs. You must assess your specific requirements and your minimum expectations before you lay down your choices of cloud data management platforms.

The great thing about this is, that when you finally sit down to choose, instead of choosing vendors against each other you are choosing them against your needs. Therefore an advance assessment of your business makes for the perfect checklist.

It is also important to remember here that you also need to make notes of what configurations you need, and the work that is needed to be done on your business side and what features can a cloud provider offer to help you. This makes it easier to narrow down your choice from a few favorites.

Standards and Certificates

You will find providers that comply with quality frameworks and standards. These are the ones that will adhere to best practices of the industry too, so you can safely rely on their methods, knowing that your data is secure in the third party’s hands.

For whatever feature your priority is, you need to look for a vendor that has the specific certification for that. For example, if security is a priority for you, you want suppliers who are accredited with ISO 27001 for example. If its operations then there is criteria by ITIL and DMTF.

When assessing this, it is important that you look for a structured process within the vendor’s organization. This is where they offer effective data management, service status visibility, and management of knowledge. This is also a way to understand how the chosen vendor decides to use his/ her platform for continually adhering to the standards promised.

Technologies and Service Roadmap

It is important that you ensure that your preferred technologies are aligned with what your objectives are when you decide to use the cloud. You must ask whether the cloud architectures, standards and services are aligned with the current environment that you are working with.

You will find plenty of cloud service providers who will happily give you migration services and even provide you with assistance regarding the planning and assessment phase. Before you make a choice remember that you must understand support on offer and then map this against project tasks. You may also come to find that the vendors you are looking at, hire technical staff who can do the needful in the migration aspect of things.

That being said, you must always check for this. There are some cloud service providers who only offer limited support in their packages. Which means you have to spend more time and effort looking for a third party support to fill in for the necessary skills your primary vendor lacks.

Data Security

Data management is a huge factor when it comes to choosing the right cloud data management platform. You might have a data classification scheme already in place. You must look into the data privacy rules and the regulations associated with personal data.

Keeping this in mind, and the placement of the data, accompanied by the laws this is one thing that heavily makes up the selection process. If you have very specific providers and obligations you can always consider providers who offer you some control in the way your data is stored. A great data management vendor will be transparent about the location of their data centers, and will also get you the information you ask for.

You will want to know the vendor’s strength in protecting data in transit, their breach notification methods and then evaluate this with whether it is aligned with your risk appetite.

Relationship and Dependencies

A data management platform makes use of multiple key vendors. It is important that you know who these are. You want to learn their technical capabilities, staff certifications, and accreditation levels. You can always assess for yourself whether this vendor’s services fit in with the larger ecosystem of services that you plan to opt for.

It works if you understand partnerships and service dependencies that are involved so that you know for yourself the limitations and liabilities associated with the subcomponents. In general, it works if you consider.

Cloud agreements are very complex and that too in an industry that does not have the necessary standards for how contracts should be drafted. Be wary of jargon-filled or misleading agreements, sit down with an expert to go through the document before you sign anything.

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