4 Questions to Ask the Cloud Computing Vendor of your Project Management Software
In my last post, I discussed 4 downsides to cloud computing. In this post, I want to give you four questions to ask the cloud computing vendor that is hosting your project management software. These are questions that you should have the answer to so that you are not surprised down the road.
1. What happens when we ramp up our use of the system?
George commented on the last post about another downside of cloud computing, which is limits the vendor may place on transactions in the system. Find out what happens if you double your use of the system, add users, greatly increase the number of documents you are storing, or otherwise increase your use of the system. Is there a storage limit for your documents? Are there thresholds in place that you may hit? Are there costs involved? It would be best to get this in writing from your vendor.
2. How can I get my data?
What happens if you need to change vendors, you need your data to push it into another system, or you simply want some insurance in case something happens to your vendor? Can you get your data? In what format can you get your data? Will they send you a backup file? Do you have to do some sort of download? What formats will these be in? How will you use these formats? Are there extra costs involved? Be prepared and find out the answers up front.
3. How do upgrades work? Do we have control over when an upgrade occurs?
You probably will not have a lot of control over when an upgrade to your system occurs (unless you are a large customer). That does not mean that you should not understand how the process works. Ask the question. How often do they upgrade? How much notice will you get? Do you have any control? Can you have access to a sandbox prior to the upgrade?
4. How do we change our subscription?
It is hard to predict the future. You may grow and need to add additional users. You may find additional uses for the system and want to bring on another department. You may find that you no longer need the system as much as you thought and need to reduce the number of users. Find out what the process is for making these changes, and if there are any hidden costs involved.
What other questions do you think should be asked of your cloud computing vendor?