4 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Cloud Computing Provider

cloud computingMoving an aspect of your business—like email, payment processing, data storage, etc.—to the cloud can help you save money and streamline processes. As an added bonus, cloud service vendors can handle administrative tasks like security, maintenance, backup and support, allowing you to focus on the day-to-day operations.

However, with so many cloud computing solutions and vendors to choose from, it’s hard to know what to look for.

To ensure the process goes smoothly and that you choose the right provider, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What’s the vendor’s track record? Before landing on a cloud solution, it’s important to consider the vendor’s reputation. In general, it’s best to find a company that has been in business for a fair amount of time and has a good history of service.
  2. What are the vendor’s capabilities? After understanding what you are looking for in a cloud computing solution, it’s critical that your vendor can meet your needs. Your provider should be able to implement your desired solution on day one and have the expertise to continually offer new ways to adapt to changing markets.
  3. What’s their pricing? A vendor may have everything you need, but could end up being out of budget. Determine a realistic amount you’re willing to pay for cloud services and compare that number to your options. It’s also important to only pay for what you use. Don’t be afraid to renegotiate if a company wants you to pay for extra bells and whistles you don’t need.
  4. Is my data safe? In an age where cyber crime is common and proprietary data can be lost with the click of the mouse, security is key. When researching vendors, ensure that you know the location of their data centres and what precautionary measures they have in place to prevent a hack. If possible, consult an expert to see if a prospective vendor is compliant with all applicable industry security standards.

Keeping in mind the above tips will ensure that, when the time is right to migrate your company’s data or processes to the cloud, you are prepared to choose a vendor that will help achieve your goals.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Global Spending on the Internet of Things May Reach $1.29 Trillion by 2020

Connect Planet Earth (Daylight)Today, there are more digitally connected devices than there are people on the planet. These immense networks are capable of supporting an array of applications—from the mundane to the sophisticated—and can help propel economic opportunities. This vast interconnected system of devices, vehicles and even buildings are all part of the Internet of Things (IoT)—and more and more businesses are investing in it.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on the IoT will experience a growth rate of nearly 16 per cent, reaching $1.29 trillion by 2020.

According to the Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide, spending is expected to be highest in the following three industries:

  1. Manufacturing ($178 billion)
  2. Transportation ($78 billion)
  3. Utilities ($69 billion)

The IDC reports that hardware, services and software will make up the majority of the investments. In general, modules and sensors that connect endpoints to networks will represent the bulk of hardware purchases. Things like telemetrics, health monitoring, smart home investments, and smart grids for oil and gas utilities are also major spending drivers.

While the IoT continues to change the way companies do business, each new device connected represents another potential point of access for criminals. In addition to the sheer number of connections available to hackers, the interconnectedness of IoT devices poses a new kind of threat. Accessing a single device could, in theory, give a criminal access to a person’s home, car, phone, work and many other smart systems.

To protect themselves, organizations must be proactive regarding their cyber security measures. And while cyber coverage is still in its infancy, the IoT will undoubtedly force the market to consider these new exposures as they develop.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.