Cloud vendors that offer clients disaster recovery solutions and want to attract more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) should focus on service level agreements (SLAs). A recent TechTarget report by Mooney Sherman explained that providers should be ready to work with a customer’s key decision-makers, IT staff and compliance and security employees.
Sherman noted that cloud vendors should provide companies with risk assessments and analysis of natural disasters and other disruptions. Next, the SLA must advise a firm on which type of cloud to adopt – public, private or hybrid – and how such models meet business requirements.
Cloud-based recovery SLAs should also include a list of a client’s most important data and applications that will be protected with a hosted environment. Sherman encouraged vendors to ensure that agreements are affordable and address all of a customer’s mandates in terms of security, privacy and compliance. Businesses that expose certain information can experience hefty fines and a damaged reputation as a result.
Not every SMB will have the same SLA, but it is crucial that service providers do their due diligence to ensure that all companies’ interests are protected under the agreement. Failing to do so may result in damaged relationships with current clients and potential prospects.
Some firms lack effective SLAs
Despite the importance of a company’s SLA, many businesses are severely lacking in their respective agreements with cloud vendors. A survey conducted by Brocade found that 75 percent of CIOs said their organizations’ SLAs will not even meet their minimum requirements. More than half of respondents said increasing data volumes and bandwidth needs will also be difficult to monitor moving forward, potentially leading to more downtime.
“The CIO will remain strategic to the business, but will assume a myriad of new responsibilities as network usage evolves in the coming years,” said Alberto Soto, vice president at Brocade. “CIOs need to therefore work closely with infrastructure partners to identify the best tools to help their businesses flourish.”
Cloud vendors that want to avoid unhappy clients must pay close attention to their SLAs, because many companies, including SMBs, are still getting used to the idea of leveraging hosted environments. Service providers that want to expand their brand should ensure customers’ interests and recovery needs are addressed in these agreements.
For more specifics on SLAs, check out this great post from Mark Crall: Objectives, Requirements, and SLAs, Oh my!
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