With the cloud industry cementing its hold into the market, every scale of business – whether startups, SMBs, or enterprises – is looking for a reliable cloud hosting provider. However, there are some aspects every provider should implement to stay ahead of others.
Numerous factors come into play when the customers choose a cloud service provider. The lack of anyone can lead a customer to select some other provider.
Here are some of the factors that can influence customers not to prefer a cloud hosting service provider.
1. Security Concerns
There is nothing more important than the security of the data. The cloud hosting provider might be cheap with a range of services under its repertoire, but if it cannot guarantee a secure infrastructure to host the data, the users will not opt for it.
Security is a major concern for most industries, more so for others. There are some processes such as accounting, health, and finance that are involved in critical data more than the others. For such industries, data security is a must.
According to Norton, an estimated 33 billion records will be stolen by cybercriminals by 2023. Moreover, the U.S will account for half of the records globally. The average cost due to a data breach of a U.S company was estimated at 7.91 million US dollars. With cyberattacks and data breaches on US and UK government institutions, mobile applications, and online ticketing portals, cyberattacks were on the rise in 2018.
Cyberattacks such as Ransomware, Phishing, DDoS, and SQL Injection paralyze the businesses by hampering productivity or leaking critical information. Most cloud providers in the market are unequipped with the infrastructure required to offer an advanced level of security. Hence, during a cyberattack or a data breach, the cloud provider is unable to protect the integrity of data.
Businesses opt for a cloud hosting provider that deploys security safeguards such data encryption, multi-factor authentication, Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDS & IPS), among others in their setup to ensure data protection at every level.
2. Unsatisfied with SLA
SLA (Service Level Agreement) is the legal contract between a customer and a cloud provider that defines the essential aspects of cloud services to be followed by the provider. The SLA contains the terms of service, level of support, terms of termination of the contract, and uptime, among others.
Different cloud providers in the market define an uptime based on the level of their service as well as the state of their infrastructure. The uptime is the total duration that the cloud provider guarantees the functioning of your process in a year. Hence, uptime is a critical aspect for a cloud provider.
Every customer thoroughly goes through the SLA and analyzes all the aspects before choosing a cloud service provider. If a cloud provider offers less downtime (more uptime) value than other cloud providers, the customers are inclined to select the same. For instance, Ace Cloud Hosting offer an uptime of 99.999 percent that implies a downtime of only 5 minutes in a year.
|Availability Measure||Downtime Per Year||Downtime Per Week|
|90% (one nine)||36.5 days||16.8 hours|
|99% (two nines)||3.65 days||1.68 hours|
|99.9% (three nines)||8.76 hours||10.1 minutes|
|99.99% (four nines)||52.6 minutes||1.01 minutes|
|99.995% (four and a half nines)||26.28 minutes||30.24 seconds|
|99.999% (five nines)||5.25 minutes||6.05 seconds|
|99.9999% (six nines)||31.5 seconds||604.8 ms|
Hence, as a cloud provider, ensure that your SLA clearly defines your terms of service and you offer a high uptime value.
3. Lack of Customer Support
Some of the reasons why the customers are afraid to choose a cloud provider are the limitations of the customer support that it offers. Customer support is the parameter that drives the customers towards cloud hosting. However, with a plethora of cloud providers in the market, the customer support offered by a cloud provider should be the best in the market.
One thing that the customers associate with support is reliability. The cloud hosting provider should be reliable in offering support to the customers whenever they need it. The major cloud providers are available 24/7/365 support to ensure the customers can reach them whenever they want.
Other parameters are the response time and the resolution time. The cloud provider should be swift in responding to the customers with the estimated resolution time. The resolution time should be minimal, and the productivity of the customer should not be hampered due to the issue.
Inefficient customer support is a significant reason why the customers turn away from a cloud provider and choose the other.
4. Data Center Issues
Data centers are the extensive facilities that host numerous servers, which function independently or as part of a cloud environment. The cloud hosting providers store your data in these data centers. They can either be owned by the cloud provider or be a third-party data center.
There are some aspects of a data center that come into play when choosing a cloud hosting provider. Firstly, the data center should be closer to the location of the customer or at least in the same region. Although cloud providers enhance remote accessibility, it is recommended that the data centers be in proximity to the customers.
It is because some cloud providers host the data on data centers that are located on another side of the world causing time lag and connectivity issues. Customers do not want to experience time lag and hence opt for such cloud providers.
Secondly, the data centers should deploy redundant equipment such as cooling and power to ensure the data and applications are always available to you. The data centers are classified into four tiers depending on their infrastructure and services, with Tier-4 being the highest.
The customers usually choose the cloud providers that host their servers in data centers that are Tier-3 and above with data centers close to their location.
5. Lack of Flexible Pricing Plans
One of the advantages of cloud hosting is the flexibility in pricing. The customers expect the cloud hosting provider to have plans that suit their budget and is in accordance with the type of process they are trying to host.
For instance, some hosting providers offer pricing plans designed especially for startups, SMBs, or enterprises. They also have a single user plan for individuals who wish to avail their services. The cloud provider should also be able to modify the plans as per the customer’s demand.
Lack of flexible pricing can cause the customers to choose some other hosting provider as they do not find the plan that suits their requirement.
6. All-Time Data Availability
One of the disadvantages of a cloud provider is the inability to identify a disruptive event or restore the data if an event occurs. The customers look for a robust system that can not only back up their data but also identify and mitigate any harmful activities.
The competent cloud providers implement a Business Continuity Plan that involves risk management and crisis management processes to identify and prevent any disruptive event successfully.
Furthermore, the Disaster Recovery plan ensures that your data is safe even in case of a disaster such as an earthquake. The data is stored on geographically diverse data centers such that the data can be restored from other locations if a disaster hits one.
Additionally, the number of days offered for backup can also be a factor for the customers choosing a cloud provider.
Nowadays, it is essential for cloud providers to include Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plans in their services. Otherwise, the customers, keeping the importance of their data in mind, can look the other way.
How to Stay Ahead in The Market
In the competitive market, the cloud hosting providers should be able to offer customers with the best in technology, infrastructure as well as services. The customers analyze the cloud services explicitly as they want to leave no gaps in their process.
Security is a major player when it comes to hosting as the customers do not want to experience any data breach or cyberattacks. Also, the provider should be able to restore the data even in times of a disruptive event.
The customers can also find the SLA terms as well as uptime not up to the mark. Hence, make sure the terms of service are clearly mentioned in the SLA. Moreover, pricing plans should be flexible and customizable as per the customers’ demands.
Customers usually choose a cloud provider with state-of-the-art infrastructure. As a cloud provider, you should try to host your services in data centers that are Tier-3 and above.
Have you found any feature that is lacking in your cloud provider? Do write to us in the comments section.
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