Picking the Right Cloud Infrastructure Partner – Part 5 of 5
Selecting the right type of partner is purely based on your needs today and in the future. A good IaaS partner relationship is one that should last you years if selected wisely. Each type of IaaS offering has pros and cons in each of the three primary areas.
- Reliability – Ability to support continuous service uptime, changing technology and business needs over the life of the business relationship.
- Security – A robust, maintained, and constantly evolving security shield against both technological and human incursions.
- Agility and White Glove Support – Proactive and reactive support for all business and technology needs throughout setup, installation, migration, and support.
Reliability starts with system uptime, but it extends to include business continuity and availability of your offerings to your clients. The best partners will ensure that your software services are performing for your clients in a way and at a level that maintains their satisfaction and positive Net Promoter Scores (NPS). Reliability isn’t a short-term need and must be maintained over years of customer growth, technology updates, and business strategy changes. It requires a solid and robust technology foundation and a business partnership that is designed to support businesses as well as SaaS solutions.
All hosting providers should meet the industry standards for reliability including:
- Redundant physical and virtual infrastructure
- Standard maintenance and fully vetted platform updates
- Unlimited and seamless scalability
- Failover and DR options
- Redundant power and cooling in purpose-built Data Centers.
- Multiple IP providers
The key to finding a suitable infrastructure provider is one that can continue to provide you with reliable services no matter how your organizational or technology needs change. For example, Global Technology Providers by the nature of their business focus on serving huge numbers of clients necessitating a “by the numbers” approach. This tends to put their platform and processes above client-specific needs and forces clients to accept both technical and business constraints. Having a consistent process yields benefits of scale for the vendor but often removes the human connection and consultative services that benefit clients who require tailored technology solutions and business advice. This can cause some providers to be reliable today, but not tomorrow when the client has different needs. The key to long-term reliability is the flexibility to meet client needs.
Security issues come from two places: outside your organization, and from the people inside your company. Both are dangerous, but most organizations focus on exterior threats when reviewing an IaaS partner and their ability to supply physical and virtual protection from outside threats. As with reliability, there are standard security requirements:
- Purpose-built Datacenters
- 24-hour security
Cyber Threat Protections
- Encrypted Read-only Backup and Multi-site Replication
- Intrusion Detection and Prevention
- Volumetric DDoS Protection
The best Infrastructure Provider/MSPs provide tailored security recommendations and services based on client needs. This can include additional technology protections, internal security process recommendations, and access to best practices based on techniques that have proven effective at other similar clients.
The battle against malware, phishing, trojans, ransomware, DDoS, Man in the Middle (MitM) attacks, and a host of other techniques is an ongoing challenge. These bad actors are not targeting just large organizations, but what they view as the “low hanging fruit,” those companies whose defenses are most easily penetrated.
Agility and White Glove Support
A common misconception is that customer support starts when something goes wrong and a client needs to call for help. The best customer support is when a partner is preemptive and proactive, working with the client to make sure that issues never occur. This type of regular engagement enables an infrastructure partner to understand the client’s future plans and create strategies that enable them to be ready, agile, and more responsive in the future.
This agility is important even before a company becomes a client of an infrastructure provider because each client’s needs are different. One client could require moving an entire software infrastructure including their proprietary websites, source code, and complete databases without any modification, while another could be looking at standard applications for accounting or sales automation with just their data transitioned to the new environment. Any of these, or countless other processes, require planning, teamwork, and specialized support.
Smaller vendors are known for being extremely agile but can run into resource constraints that handcuff their ability to be proactive and supply the necessary support consistently. Those partners that have sufficient trained resources, well-defined processes, and systems in place are more suited to meet the needs of more complex clients while removing the need for the client’s IT support resource to be heavily involved.
Conclusion for those looking to change IaaS Partners
Changing your infrastructure partner is not easy, but if your current provider isn’t meeting the needs of your evolving business it becomes a necessary challenge. The key is to evaluate your options to ensure that when you do make a move your new partner is as future proof as possible in the areas of security, reliability, and most importantly support.
Conclusion for those looking for their first IaaS Partner
Being a successful software company is a difficult and complex business. Moving to become a SaaS vendor is a vital path to your long-term success. Like most processes, if you can simplify it by finding the right partner you will be better able to drive the changes you need to be a growing and profitable business.
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Infinitely Virtual is Your Quality IaaS Partner
Make a smooth and painless transition to a better deployment solution with Infinitely Virtual. We will work with you to tailor a custom IaaS solution to suit your company’s specific situation. Give us a call today at 1.866.257.8455 and chat with us about your business needs. You can also learn more about what we do to support our software companies for long-term success.