Cloud services come with various features and support functions. While selecting a cloud-based service, businesses need to consider the following factors:

• Delivery models
Cloud comes in three forms – public, private and hybrid. Public models offer a collaborative environment which offers ease of data sharing. Private models, on the other hand, provide greater data and network security. Hybrid models offer options for privacy on a public model.

• Trail availability
A cloud service that is available for trial can be judged easily. If you haven’t used the cloud service before, it’s better to choose a vendor who provides the option of a trial.

• Customization
Certain cloud services accommodate business process remodeling requirements, while others don’t. Customized cloud services are better if you foresee major changes to your business processes in the future.

• Security
The level of data security in a public model is lower compared to that of a private model. However, sharing and collaboration take a backseat in the private model. Businesses should evaluate what is more important to their working – privacy or collaboration.

• Scalability
Size of the data warehouse, bandwidth and data capacity of the server are key considerations when selecting a cloud service. If you plan on scaling your business, choose a vendor whose cloud services can be scaled easily.

• Compatibility
Many businesses are choosing to mobile optimize their websites. It’s important to check whether the cloud service of your choice is mobile compatible or not. Additionally, email compatibility and compatibility with accounting software are a must these days.

• Data recovery
If your cloud service is hosted off-site, it’s important to check the data backup and recovery capabilities of your vendor.

• Automatic upgrades
Free and automatic upgrades add a lot of value to a business’s commercial transactions. Choose a vendor who provides regular cloud upgrades.

It’s imperative for businesses to carefully go through the SLAs that they have with their vendors, in order to protect themselves from potential unmet expectations or harm.

• Cloud implementation training
Implementing cloud services can be a challenge, especially if you are new to the arena. Choose a vendor who has comprehensive training programs in place.

• Back-end support
Cloud services often run on complex software and it’s easy to run into trouble. It’s important to partner with a  IT support company who can provide you with the relevant technical support.

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