Not everyone uses a private cloud. If you’ve used solutions like Windows Azure, Blue Cloud, and Dropbox, then you’ve been using the other type of cloud storage, called public cloud. In the public cloud, data from multiple users reside in the same physical server. It’s like a rental storage facility where anyone can pay for an enclosed space or container in which to store their stuff. And in the said facility, you can’t access anybody else’s belongings, just your own.
Using the same comparison, a private cloud is like renting your own storage unit. It’s a cloud solution that is dedicated to only one user. You get the same benefits as you would from the public cloud — convenience, security, collaboration, scalability, and others — but your files are isolated from everybody else’s.
The greatest advantage that a private cloud has over the public cloud — and most other types of storage solutions, for that matter — is control. Because your organization has the entire storage to yourself, you can customize it to meet even the most specific needs of your firm. It also gives you total control over the security of your data.
A private cloud can be used in almost any type of business, whether by itself or in tandem with another cloud solution, but it is most ideal for those in highly regulated industries, such as healthcare, law, and finance. If you’re investing in a private cloud, it’s important that you choose your cloud managed service provider properly. After all, it is the provider that will deliver crucial services, such as building the cloud infrastructure and installing and updating relevant applications.
Here is a checklist to help you choose the best private cloud service provider:
#1. Do they offer the services you need?
Before you contact service providers, make a list of the services you’ll require. To do this, you need to understand what type of data you’ll be storing and why you’ll be investing in a private cloud in the first place. Maybe you need it for data processing, disaster recovery, or compliance. In any case, any provider that offers the services you need should be included in your options.
#2. Do they support the software your law firm uses?
Incompatibilities in the applications and tools you use can cause delays and inefficiencies. To prevent extended migrations and other problems, make sure your managed cloud service provider supports the Practice Management, Document Management, Accounting System, and other software suites you use in your firm.
#3. Are they experts in data security?
If you are investing in a private cloud to ensure compliance and protect your data, then pay close attention to how your provider options handle security. Here are some of the questions you need to ask:
- Do they monitor the security of your data 24/7?
- What tools do they use to detect intrusions into your system?
- Do they require multifactor authentication for users looking to access your files?
- When data is in transit to and from your location, is it protected through encryption?
You may also inquire if they offer regular training for employees who will use the system. This keeps your staff abreast with the latest data security protocols and helps mitigate the risk of data loss and theft.
#4. Are they familiar with compliance?
The inability to comply with the regulations of your industry have dire consequences for your business. As much as possible, you’d want a managed cloud provider that’s familiar and experienced with your industry’s compliance requirements. Aside from inquiring about the providers’ previous clients from your sector, you may also ask fellow law firms about providers they have worked with in the past.
#5. Are they readily available?
Problems can happen at any time of the day, and the provider must always have someone who will respond to your questions and concerns immediately, whether by phone or email.
Private cloud is a sound investment, especially if your goal is to ensure compliance and improve your firm’s security and efficiency. The results you get, however, have much to do with your choice of a managed private cloud service provider. Selecting a provider that has the right capabilities and expertise is, therefore, crucial to your success.
Vertex has over 10 years’ experience in securing our clients’ data and helping them earn more through state-of-the-art cloud and IT solutions. Contact us today and inquire about our services!
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