The cloud is now widely considered to be the platform of choice for the vast majority of IT. But even though enthusiasm for the cloud is almost universal, the conversation often avoids the importance of finding the right cloud platform.

The perfect cloud really is an advantage. But an imperfect cloud can raise security concerns, cause you to suffer downtimes, create unexpected costs, and engineer exactly the kinds of problems the cloud was intended to fix.

Unfortunately, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a cloud platform is hard to do without relying on it daily. And switching from a bad platform to a good one is not a seamless process. Look for these features to feel confident you’re choosing the right cloud platform from the start:

More Than One Redundant Backup

One major advantage of the cloud is that you can backup and recover your data reliably even if your office is damaged or destroyed. But this kind of seamless retrieval is only possible if your cloud platform has multiple redundant backups. That way, if something should happen to the cloud itself your essential data is safely stored in more than one alternate location.

This features is fairly common on cloud platforms, but it’s still important to confirm it before making any commitments.

Excellent Encryption and Security

All businesses are vulnerable to hackers, and all data is potentially a target. The cloud is able to provide a superior level of security compared to on-site hardware, but the exact level of protection depends on the cloud platform. Cloud ERP is great for managing data, but if there are not advanced encryption and regularly updated security measures in place the data is at risk.

A Reliable Reputation

The market for cloud services is crowded, and there a number of upstarts jockeying for position. It may be appealing to go with a cloud provider that offers ambitious prices or innovative services, but what you’re really looking for is a strong foundation. A provider that has an established track record and a widely positive reputation is preferable to one who promises to race across the cutting edge.

Positive Customer Reviews

Cloud platforms, like all businesses trying to attract customers, always put their best face forward. But if you are going to trust your business IT to the cloud you need to look beyond the sales pitch. Real customer reviews give you a more accurate picture of a platform’s strengths and weaknesses as they affect real users. Find as many reviews as possible, and focus on reviews from business that are similar in size or IT needs to your own.

Easy Integration Abilities

One of the exciting advantages of the cloud is how easy it is to scale or adapt a solution to your changing needs. However, some cloud platforms are better at this than others. Locate options that have an open API or at least have easy and accessible integration points. The goal is not to find a solution that is ideal for the present. The goal is to find a solution that is appropriate for the future.

Great Resources and Service

The relative quality of a cloud platform depends in part on the level of service the administrator provides to users like you. Good platforms make resources available to helps users get the in-depth information they need on demand. As you investigate options, don’t hesitate to ask what level of service is available and what happens when that level is not met.

Don’t let enthusiasm for a new piece of IT cause you to rush into any commitments. The more time you spend searching for the right cloud platform the better your new tech will perform throughout its life-cycle.