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Four Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Cloud Application

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 30, 2010

Cloud-based applications are software running on third-party servers, which you access through an Internet browser. Common business uses are e-mail and CRM applications. For example, you can use Rackspace e-mail hosting instead of buying Microsoft Exchange Server or use SalesForce rather than installing CRM software and hardware. It’s important to do your homework before committing to any cloud-based software. Here are a few key questions to ask prospective providers:

1. Is uptime guaranteed through contractual service level agreements? Historically have they been met?

2. How secure is my data? What standards, such as ISO 27002 and 27001, are followed?

3. Who owns the servers? If another party, how do they certify where your data is and who has access?

4. What happens to my data at the end of an engagement? Can data destruction be certified?

Paying attention to details like these will help you determine the most secure and reliable option to maximize value from cloud-based applications. After all, there is a reason there’s a buzz.

Tom Thimot
Chief executive
San Francisco

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