2 tricks that can deliver the right service provider treats Posted on October 4, 2011 by Tim Burke It’s a 21st-century truth that even small businesses need complex information technology infrastructures to thrive. Which is why so many enterprises, both large and small, depend on the expertise of independent providers of managed and cloud services. But using managed and cloud services can be risky, too. How reliable is the service? Where’s your data? And what about security? So how do you mitigate the risks inherent in depending on managed and cloud services? First of all, spend some time thinking through which IT capabilities your business should acquire via a managed or cloud service. Ask prospective service providers for advice as you make your decisions — always noting which ones respond with adaptable solutions that can genuinely fit your performance and cost requirements and which ones try to contort your requirements to suit the rigid boundaries of their offerings. Second, you need to devote due diligence to service provider selection. Make sure the provider organization actually delivers what they claim, runs the facilities and technologies they say they do, and is properly SAS 70 Type II certified. Visit one of the provider’s data centers. Talk to more than one of the provider’s current customers.