In a report published by Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.5 percent in 2019 to total $214.3 billion, up from $182.4 billion in 2018.
In the booming market of cloud service providers, it is not easy to select the right QuickBooks cloud service provider.
Here’s a ten-point checklist to make sure that you cover all the bases before reaching a decision.
Table of Contents
1. Data Center Classification
Security and location of data centers are as important as online security. Your business data is vital, so ensuring that it is stored in highly redundant and secure data centers is important. However, data centers come in all shapes and sizes, from different places.
The data centers are classified into four tiers depending on their infrastructure and security attributes. The table below shows some of the features available in each of the four tiers of data centers available.
Image Credit: Uptime Institute Data Center Tier Classification
It is suggested not to go for a QuickBooks cloud hosting provider that host your data and applications in less than three-tier data center.
2. Customer Support
Customer support is important when selecting a QuickBooks cloud hosting provider. Efficient customer support ensures that you do not have to worry about the underlying hardware architecture and can focus on the core processes of your business.
Check if the vendor offers these factors:
- 24*7 support, even on weekends
- Technically qualified staff
- Email, chat, and phone support
- Low response and resolution time
3. Server Performance
Performance of the server and dependability of operations are important factors in selecting the best QuickBooks hosting provider. Some business owners neglect this aspect and focus more on the pricing and the service offered.
However, as your QuickBooks is hosted on the remote cloud servers, you should make sure to inquire about the underlying architecture as well.
The renowned cloud providers deploy a High-Performance Computing (HPC) environment for hosting the customers’ applications. HPC offers parallel processing and high output, which means that you do not face any lag while working on your QuickBooks.
Server performance is the fuel that would propel your business forward. So, make sure that the server wouldn’t slow you down.
This is a significant differentiator between cloud providers, separating the good ones from the best.
4. SLA & Free Trial
You want to ensure that the provider can fulfill their promises. Consider the server resources required to accomplish your workload and ask the provider for a quote.
Some service providers promise the lowest price, but you might end up renting double the resources to build machines which can sustain your business. Many QuickBooks cloud providers offer free trial services. Take advantage of that. It ensures that you have analyzed the cloud provider’s services before having to pay for it.
You should also go through the cloud provider’s SLA carefully to analyze all the terms and conditions before making a decision.
5. Versions of QuickBooks
The QuickBooks cloud provider should be able to host all versions of QuickBooks Desktop including QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Enterprise, and Accountant. As different users might use different versions of QuickBooks, it is essential for the cloud provider to be compatible to host all QuickBooks versions.
6. Advanced Security
When you are storing your crucial QuickBooks data on the cloud, security should be one of the most important concerns. Your QuickBooks hosting provider should have all the security measures in place.
- Look for firewalls, multi-factor user authentication, antivirus, and regular security audits.
- Check for data encryption, both within the network and information sent on the Internet.
- Make sure that you access the levels of data and system security and security of governance processes. There should be comprehensive security guidelines and measures in place to prevent unauthorized access.
- Check out the physical security of cloud provider’s data servers: access records, CCTV, biometric access, and round-the-clock security staff.
7. Automatic Backup
Your cloud hosting provider should offer regular backup, thus making sure that your critical data is not lost due to natural calamity or system failure. The feature ensures that your data is recoverable from remote servers until the time of end checkpoint in the record.
Moreover, you should check if the cloud provider offers automated backup solutions for the data to be backed up automatically.
When your QuickBooks is on the cloud, multiple users should be able to access the file simultaneously. This feature is particularly important when you have to take key business decisions in a short time. Also, one user should be able to work on multiple files at the same time and from any location through an internet connection.
9. Downtime History
While some providers publish their downtime information, but other cloud providers must provide all the information when asked. You cannot expect perfection: downtime is inevitable. All QuickBooks cloud providers experience downtime at some point.
It is important how the service provider functions when such a situation occurs. Most cloud provider mention an uptime value in their SLA that they are willing to offer the customers.
The major cloud providers guarantee an uptime as high as 99.999 percent. Hence, you should check the uptime value carefully before selecting the cloud service provider.
Another critical factor while selecting the cloud provider is the ability to handle disruptive events. A disruptive event can be any crisis, human-inflicted, or natural, that can hamper your business process and cause data loss.
Top-of-the-class cloud providers implement business continuity and disaster recovery practices to ensure proper crisis management and mitigation.
Choosing a cloud provider is a long-term investment for businesses that can turn into a highly lucrative decision.
Hence, while selecting a QuickBooks cloud hosting provider, firms should take time to investigate and verify the quality of service they have to offer before reaching a decision.
Are you looking for the QuickBooks cloud solution according to your business requirement? Get in touch with our cloud experts at 855-910-6927 or download QuickBooks Hosting buyer’s guide that will help you make the informed decision.
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Chris5 years ago
Hey Renuka, thanks for sharing this informative post.
According to me, SLA and cloud service agreement consideration comes among the first pointers in this checklist. Because ignorance at this level can cause a real problem to the firm!
Jonathan5 years ago
Business continuity and disaster recovery plans should also be on everyone’s checklist before considering to go for cloud services. Some providers have built-in plans while some opt to outsource their disaster management service.
Elsa5 years ago
A complete and highly satisfiable checklist for shifting QuickBooks to cloud. This will make the migration smoother and error free.
Thanks for the post-Renuka!