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NetApp: 5 Steps to Choosing an Enterprise-class Cloud Service Provider

F.Y. Teng | March 2, 2012
A prescription by Loh Ching Soo, Country Manager at NetApp Singapore.

How do you go about selecting the Cloud service provider that’s just right for your business? Loh Ching Soo, Country Manager, NetApp Singapore offers up a five-step approach.

1) Determine your requirements. Unlike core defined services and IT applications that are customised to the needs of the business and central to competitive advantage, non-core applications such as VDI, CRM, web applications as well as development and testing, are good candidates for the cloud because of the flexibility and agility of the data. By outsourcing these workloads, companies can benefit from the accelerated time to market, added flexibility, and economies of scale that a service provider offers.”

2) Identify and screen promising service providers. Once companies have identified their requirements, it’s time to identify promising service providers with the right portfolio of services to meet the company’s needs. Look for evidence that shows whether each service provider has experienced serving enterprises like yours. These include sample customer lists, reputation, track record, and existing customer base. Service providers with experience in your company’s industry or have similar customers are likely to understand your business and technology needs.”

3) Do they truly provide enterprise-class service? CIOs and IT leaders should look into a tailored two-phase evaluation process that begins with defining the company’s SLA needs. Evaluate the list of promising candidates and narrow it down to only those that offer the enterprise-class service which meets your company’s business needs. The right service provider should be able to show that they have the necessary physical and logical controls in place to meet your needs.”

4) ROI: Assess returns and hidden costs. Key areas for ROI that should be evaluated include savings in infrastructure spending and reviewing of opportunity cost to make better use of staff and resources, as well as the value of risk mitigation from business continuity, off-site disk-based backup, and/or disaster recovery services. Finally, look for hidden costs, benefits, and pricing details such as contract features, flexibility, and timing for the functionality and services that your company needs.”

"5) Think long-term. Make a strategic choice and choose a service provider that can handle your company’s current and long-term resources and requirements. By using the four steps showcased above, your company will be well on the way to selecting the appropriate service provider for your enterprise’s specific business and technical needs—one that will not only manage your current projects, but also be able to take on additional projects as you grow.


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