To start, there are many versions of the “cloud”.  This article will touch on WaaS (workspace as a service).  It also can be referred to as DaaS (desktop as a service), but is not always truly turn-key.  So, we will focus on WaaS today.

WaaS has continued to gain popularity in the industry because of the freedom it provides for the customer and the provider.  With more and more datacenters being built, and the ability to use services like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google’s many platforms, it has become easier to move in this direction.  The “cloud” offers the ability for smaller Managed Service Providers to provide top notch support and services to clients without a lot of the typical overhead.

The WaaS model allows for an increase in productivity, scalablity, availability, and profitability, while reducing the common risks of onsite setups.

For a true turn key solution – your provider SHOULD cover these things listed below.  Onsite and remotely to provide you with the best possible result and experience.  To allow you to focus completely on your business and leverage your technology as a tool.

If you are working with a cloud provider, or plan on working with one in the future, make sure they can offer these items.  If they can’t, ask them why!

Onsite/local support:

  • Managed Anti-virus on all PCs
  • Managed Patching on all PCs (windows updates)
  • Unlimited Onsite and Remote Tech Support for all PCs

Cloud servers:

  • Scalable – does their setup allow for growth, or will it cost more to upgrade down the road?

your service should be scalable with a click of a button, so you are never stuck

  • Accessible – can your users access from anywhere at anytime

this is one of the main reasons to move to the cloud

  • Are the servers being monitoring for performance, errors, etc

being proactive is key to eliminating problems in the future

and to understand how things are working

  • Are the servers being upgraded and patched

keeping servers up to date are important for security

  • Are the servers being scanned for virus and malware regularly

you need to stay on top of this for security as well

  • Are the datacenters setup for redundancy to avoid any downtime
  • Are the servers being backed up regularly
  • Are they replicating to other datacenters in case of a natural disaster

Security :

  • are the cloud servers secure? This is one of the most important pieces in deciding your direction
  • Are the datacenters certified and compliant – HIPAA / PCI / SSAE-16 Type 2 / TIA 942 Class 4 / Sarbanes-Oxle

What TIER are the datacenters – this helps in understanding the redundancy level and security

do they have secure gateways and perimeter firewalls for initial layers of defense and are they actively monitored for malicious activity

are logs maintained on who accesses each cloud workspace environment, from what device and when the access was attempted

are the connections encrypted along with the data stored on the servers

 

Licensing included or BYO (bring your own):

  • Is Microsoft server OS licensing included

what about additional licensing for SQL and other products – is this included or will you have to bring your own?

this can be a huge cost difference if you have to provide your own licensing or purchase from them


Value added services that should be included:

  • Quarterly business reviews and cloud business analytics

sitting down and going over how things are operating / who is using which apps the most and which users are most productive

  • Are any software licenses included?

like Office 365 products (word/excel/outlook)

Quickbooks

Windows OS (as mentioned above)

 

These are the things that can help ensure your business is safe, secure, and reliable.

Contact us today if you have any questions on moving your business to the cloud.