Non-Negotiables of an Enterprise Cloud Vendor

In my last post I explained the “The Promise of the Cloud” and how “inevitably, companies will run everything from the cloud very soon to realize full ROI, leaving nothing to on-premises.” Since virtually all modern software solutions now provide cloud deployment models, IT leaders need to differentiate what is truly enterprise-class and what is not.

If you are an IT Director, CIO or enterprise architect, here are some non-negotiables of an ideal cloud vendor that will help you make an informed decision.

Lee Harrison, CEO of Thru, at Rackspace

No Limits

As your business expands so will the amount of data that is produced by your organization’s software solutions. When you are selecting a cloud vendor, you should ask yourself, “Can this vendor offer me the scale I need?” Don’t limit yourself. At Thru, we have made it our aim as an enterprise cloud vendor to not limit our customers’ individual needs. Whether it is unlimited file size transfers or storage, we are able to offer them what they need through our customizable solutions and by partnering with top managed cloud provider, Rackspace. For example, leading architecture firm, HKS, is able to use our file sharing solutions to manage over 10,000 users with almost 50 million files and that’s solely because our application and cloud environment are specifically designed to meet the large-scale requirements of enterprises.

Also, you will want to validate whether or not a cloud vendor can cover the globe. You may not be a multinational company today, but you need to remember that there are different rules for data in other parts of the world. Any cloud vendor should recognize those differences and be able to accommodate to unique policies and requirements.


Data today tells us that there are just as many attacks to on-premises locations as the cloud, but there are more break-ins on-premises. Visa, a customer of Thru you may be familiar with, selected our solution because of our ability to protect files with security features such as encryption, antivirus scanning and our ability to give them an audit stamp for every file transfer. Before you select a cloud solution, predetermine the non-negotiable security requirements of your organization and hold every vendor to those standards. Some of these non-negotiables, especially for enterprise file sharing, are:

  • Virus checking – Vendors should routinely scan all files in the system to protect corporate data from malware infection. Make sure they scan not only the file headers but the entire body of the file with the latest stamps.
  • Log information for every action – You need to know what happens to your data. Every system transaction (deletes, moves, cuts and pastes, etc.) in a cloud environment should be logged and retained in the database forever so that it’s immutable and proven in court if needed.
  • End-to-end encryption – This is a no-brainer but you should always validate if a vendor encrypts data in transit and at rest for all files. Every vendor should be using the top encryption solutions such as Vormetric.
  • Certifications – Make sure the vendor you choose demonstrates the ability to comply with your required regulations.

If you come across a cloud vendor that can’t offer you the security your organization needs, don’t go with them. Perform a detailed examination of the vendor like penetration testing and make sure they comply with your industry security standards and compliance policies.

Keeping the Promise

“The Promise of the Cloud” has proven true for Thru’s customers and the many companies that use the managed cloud to solve large-scale business problems. We have gone twelve years without a single recorded data breach and it is managed cloud partners like Rackspace that have played a huge role in our success. If you have made the decision to move your company’s data to the cloud, use vendors that hold to these principles of security and flexibility. These are benchmarks and pedigrees that tell you that these partners really care about what they are doing.

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