What should you look for in a cloud partner?
Can your partner be trusted with your data?
This area is becoming increasingly regulated. As a data owner, there is an onus on you to ensure any data processors you contract with can protect your staff and clients’ data.
Does your partner meet internationally recognised standards such as ISO 27001?
This ensures that their management of your data meets industry best practices and has been audited by a competent third party.
Are they registered with the Data Protection Commissioner?
This is a legal requirement for all data processors in Ireland.
Have they taken steps to prepare for GDPR?
If your business or your suppliers haven’t taken steps to prepare for GDPR it’s important that you do so now. From 2018 the Data Protection Commissioner will have the authority to fine businesses up to €200,000 or 4% of their annual turnover. Check out gdprandyou.ie for more details.
How and where is your data stored?
Is it within the EU?
Data relating to EU citizens can only be sent outside of the EU to a small number of countries and within the US, only to a designated list of approved companies. The UK may not be approved immediately following Brexit, if your partner is UK based they should have a plan for this.
How is the data centre secured?
Data centres should be physically secured and audited in accordance with best practices. This should include regular penetration testing of the web host.
Is your supplier financially secure?
Can you have confidence that they are here for the long haul? You don’t want to be left high and dry after a couple of years using your new system.
What type of Service Level Agreements are offered?
What response times can your provider promise, and will they commit to these?
Is there a single point of contact for the vendor?
If things go wrong you will want to be able to pick up the phone and reach a technician or an account manager that understands you and your business.
Will your staff receive adequate training on your new system, from a real human and will this person be an experienced trainer who can engage your staff?
It’s been our experience that insufficient staff training often results in improper use of business system and poor-quality business information