By Tony Pompliano, ANEXIO President and CEO

Cloud computing continues to grow exponentially each year, with Gartner estimating the worldwide total market revenue will climb above $300 billion in 2018. Countless companies have already made the switch from a legacy IT environment to a more efficient hybrid cloud infrastructure, and many more will make the move in the next year.

If your company is among those contemplating hybrid cloud adoption, there are several factors to consider before selecting a provider. Knowing which questions to ask is key in finding the perfect partner for your business. Here are five factors to evaluate when determining if a hybrid cloud provider is the best fit for your enterprise’s needs – today and in the future.

  • Flexibility

Think of the hybrid cloud as being “the best of both worlds.” By definition, the hybrid cloud offers enterprises greater flexibility, integrating at least one public and one private cloud platform. Enterprises increase their benefits when utilizing both types because the public cloud is often more cost-effective, billing only for resources consumed, whereas the private cloud is preferred for its security and close proximity. The hybrid cloud combines the benefits of both, allowing businesses to create computing environments tailored to their specific infrastructure and data protection needs. Does the hybrid cloud provider you’re considering offer unique or one-size-fits-all solutions? If the answer is the latter, look elsewhere.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

Data center costs for equipment, maintenance, power and cooling make it extremely expensive for an enterprise to maintain an entirely onsite infrastructure, especially without accurate growth projections. When businesses migrate to the cloud, they eliminate the need to invest in additional storage and technology for an onsite brick and mortar facility. By choosing a provider that offers a fully dedicated virtual platform, mid-sized companies can have all the conveniences of a state-of-the-art data center without the costs of having to operate one. When choosing a provider, ask for a detailed breakdown of all charges and cross compare with competitors.

  • Scalability

Private clouds have many benefits, but if there’s a drawback, it’s that they are tied to hardware, making them less scalable than public, private or hybrid platform. Growing organizations need computing capabilities that can scale up or down, based on their business needs. By implementing a hybrid solution, companies can have the security of a private cloud with the scalability of an internet-based public cloud. The hybrid cloud provider you choose should be able to expand or reduce your services at the drop of a hat without any security, latency or uptime issues.

  • Network

Make sure your data center provider owns their own network, too. The right provider will anchor your hybrid cloud solution with their own highly secure, low latency and extremely fast network. It’s impossible to predict when disaster will strike and when it does, you will want to quickly route your data traffic out of harm’s way.  By choosing a provider with their own network, your organization will have the reassurance of architectural redundancy should a natural disaster or other catastrophe occur.

  • 24/7 support

In this global economy – where your company, your customers and your IT servers may all be in different time zones – you should be able to access your data and have your questions answered around the clock, not just 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday. And, you should be able to speak to a real person instead of an automated system. When selecting a hybrid cloud provider, choose one that offers 24/7 live customer support.

While selecting a company to lead your hybrid cloud migration may seem overwhelming at first, the five factors above will prove helpful in narrowing down your options. Take your time when making a decision to ensure that you’ve chosen a provider that will not only meet your current needs, but also help you develop a vision for the future to keep up with the ever-changing IT market. By investing the time now, you will know that your IT needs are in good hands, allowing you to focus 100 percent on running your business.

About the Author

Tony Pompliano is the President and CEO of ANEXIO, an Inc. 500 company providing  mission-critical infrastructure across eight Tier III SOC-2 certified data centers, an IT solutions center, and a nationwide IP Network.