When Choosing a SharePoint Hosting Provider Don’t Underestimate the Importance of a Consultation!
Like clouds, not all hosting providers are alike.
There are many factors, beyond price point, that can differentiate one hosting provider from another, and it makes your job a lot more difficult trying to find the perfect fit for your business. That’s why knowing what to ask each provider is the first step in identifying the type of environment, level of security, or support that you actually want and need.
Being Compliant in the Cloud
Companies in regulated industries are highly concerned with consistently maintaining required security compliances. When choosing a hosting provider, it is necessary to confirm that their data center meets all of the compliance standards you require. In addition, make sure that the hosting provider is able to comply with any audits and reviews from outside parties necessary to ensure the privacy and safety of your data.
Here are some Cloud Compliances that you may need to ask about:
The Public Company Accounting and Investor Protection Act of 2002 outlines the standards for public and account companies’ financial reporting accountability.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is the standard for security and privacy of patients’ Healthcare information.
The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council details the standards companies must take to protect against credit card fraud and increases controls placed on any cardholder data. PCI Compliance is required for any organization or group that handles cardholder information for the major debit, credit, prepaid, e-purse, ATM and POS cards.
U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Harbor Framework sets the standards for the collection, use, and retention of personal information from European Union member countries and Switzerland
So, what does it mean to be Compliant-ready?
A lot of hosting providers claim to be compliant-ready for certain standards which may be a bit confusing. Don’t let it be, it simply means that they have a process or relationship in place with a third party vendor that they use to meet that compliance.
Security in the Cloud
In addition to compliance, when analyzing hosting offers, make sure to inquire about the security of the hosting provider’s data center and the network protection. Hosting gives you the enterprise security features that you typically wouldn’t be able to offer your business. Your data is your business, so make sure that your hosting provider takes the security of it as seriously as you do. Security features to ask for:
- If the data center is SSAE 16 SOC I Type II Certified or similarly audited?
- Is there a secure VPN?
- Do they have uninterruptable power supply backups?
- Is there an on-site physical security strategy in place?
- Are redundant Firewalls set-up?
Cloud vs. SharePoint Cloud
SharePoint is a very unique beast, and hosting it is much different than just hosting a website. Because of this, not all cloud providers are equipped to support a SharePoint environment. Make sure to ask about each hosting providers experience planning, building and deploying custom SharePoint environments because rarely are two SharePoint environments identical due to unique company needs.
And this goes for whatever industry you’re looking to outsource – make sure it’s going to experts who deal specifically with that product or technology!
While these are all important questions to ask hosting providers, they are several additional questions that you should make sure to ask. Download our list of the top 10 questions to ask every SharePoint Hosting provider Whitepaper below and feel confident that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about where to host your SharePoint environment.