Look to the 'Cloud' for that perfect digital makeover

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While companies grow their business and begin offering digital services, they must also be aware of how to use the IT resources they need for their digital makeover, and make these fully secure, reliable and scalable without affecting customer experience.

When scaling up to be digital savvy, businesses can look at a cloud service provider. But how to intelligently choose a good one to provide safe and secure backup to sensitive data, the lifeblood of any individual or organization?

The Cloud Industry Forum or CIF (www.cloudindustryforum.org), whose aim is to create a Code of Practice for credible online Cloud service providers, said that when selecting a cloud provider, businesses should have a checklist to determine if the provider meets their needs.

CIF offers some practical points to consider in choosing a trusted and reliable cloud service provider:

Certifications and Standards
  • Certifications and Standards – Complying with established standards and quality frameworks means the provider follows industry best practices, and should help in selecting the best potential suppliers. Also, check if the provider’s chosen technologies match or fit the organization’s objectives and actual needs, and their roadmap, which should be innovative and sustainable enough to allow further growth.
Data Security, Data Governance and Business policies
  • Data Security, Data Governance and Business policies – The provider should be able to give the client enough choice and control on how their data is stored, processed and managed, and should be transparent about the location of the data centers. For data security, the CIF Code of Practice framework can help guide and identify relevant security and data governance policies and processes in assessing a provider.
Service Dependencies & Partnerships
  • Service Dependencies & Partnerships – Assess the provider’s relationship with key vendors, accreditation levels, technical know-how, and staff certifications. Check—and think twice—before considering providers with a long list of subcontractors, and those with Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that appear complicated or misleading. Look also for a clear service delivery program, security and data management policies, business terms and legal protections.
Contracts, Commercials, and SLAs
  • Contracts, Commercials, and SLAs – Make sure that SLAs are not too complex and use complicated or misleading language.  Determine the provider’s service delivery action plan, security and data management policies on data privacy, and scrutinize contractual terms like changing of terms of service, legal protection like indemnification and intellectual property rights.
Check also the provider’s reliability and performance track record, how they dealt with “downtimes” and other disruptions in terms of timeliness, prioritization, and severity level assessment, and avoid “vendor lock-in” clauses for smoother migration if there’s a need to switch providers. Better yet, study everything before signing a contract. More importantly, check the business health and overall profile of providers being considered, if they have a sound business model, a good track record of stability and excellent business reputation, and enough financial backbone to operate in the long term. 

Data loss is a frequent culprit for people and businesses around the world that results to financial meltdown and tarnished business reputation. As the globe celebrates World Backup Day on March 31, 2020, everyone is reminded about the importance of conducting regular backups and preservation of data through various cloud-based services.

Local companies also promote data protection.  Globe Telecom, for instance, continues to remind all business stakeholders through its #makeITsafePH cybersecurity and cyber wellness campaign to be aware of their responsibility to safeguard sensitive data and protect company resources. For consumers, the #makeITsafePH campaign reaches out to young school children and their families, including millennials who are most susceptible to the negative aspects of the internet.

Globe began its cloud transformation journey in 2009 when it converted physical servers into virtualized ones and created ad hoc cloud subscriptions. In 2014, as the cloud impacted its business in a very positive way, Globe adopted a “Cloud First” policy for its infrastructure requirements. What Globe learned from its nine-year cloud journey are now shared to Philippine companies through Globe Business' cloud services to help enterprises migrate and run their business efficiently in the cloud.