5 Red Flags in your Cloud Partner

Bill SorensonCloud Computing

Now that you’ve asked all of the right questions of your prospective cloud partners (Questions to Ask – Part 1Questions to Ask – Part 2), you’re ready to go back to your leadership team and make recommendations, right?! As you comb through your partner’s answers, here are some red flags that may indicate they’re not the right partner for your organization:

1. They ask you to sign a long-term contract without termination for convenience.

A reputable cloud provider should include a reasonable exit clause, sometimes called “termination for convenience.” This clause stipulates that your organization can terminate the contract at any time for any reason if you are unsatisfied.

2. They have limited or no experience working with legal practices.

Legal organizations have unique needs and require specialized support and services. Cloud providers that haven’t worked in legal likely do not have experience working with your applications, such as ProLaw or iManage. They have experience supporting customers but may not understand the urgent response times needed by firms. They also may not sign Business Associate Agreements (BAA).

3. They are a young company.

A new cloud provider may be able to meet all your needs, but without having a background in hosting for organizations similar to yours, it’s best to proceed with caution. It becomes even more important for you to understand how many team members the organization is made up of, how they manage their infrastructure, what support is provided, etc. Small, start-up cloud providers present risk in employee turnover and inexperience

4. They don’t have references similar to your practice.

References are extremely valuable when choosing a cloud provider. They give you a good look at what it will be like to be a client of the provider. If the cloud provider has any hesitation in providing client references or testimonials, you may need to reconsider.

5. They don’t ask about your desired business outcomes.

Cloud providers should be focusing on what you want to get out of your IT infrastructure, ultimately asking what your desirable business outcomes are. Your cloud experience will be most successful when you and your service partner understand the overarching goals of the practice.

Choosing a cloud partner may be the most important decision your organization makes this year. The security of your data, the experience of your users, and the productivity of your firm depends on it. Choose wisely.