How Do I Find a Cloud Services Vendor?

Choosing the right cloud service vendor can be overwhelming. At Framework IT, we specialize in strategic technology advising to help businesses find the best cloud service vendors. In this article, we’ll outline a 6-step plan to help you select the right vendor, with detailed explanations for each step.

Steps to find a cloud services vendor

  1. Define your needs for cloud services
  2. Define your decision criteria for cloud services vendors
  3. Research the best cloud services vendors
  4. Consult with your strategic technology advisors
  5. Assess your options
  6. Decide 

How to define your needs for cloud services

Define your organization’s cloud service needs by identifying the technologies to migrate, such as software, collaboration tools, computing infrastructure, phone system, and data. Create a needs list for each and assess vendors independently for each technology. Consider additional security, scalability, integration, compliance, support, and cost requirements.

Below is a list of potential needs to consider and start brainstorming. Keep in mind that your specific situation may require additional needs and requirements.

  1. Reputation/Credibility
  2. Reliability and Performance SLAs 
  3. Certifications & Standards (especially if you’re in a compliance-driven industry)
  4. Integrations & Add-On Features 
  5. Customization
  6. Flexibility
  7. Scalable
  8. Management or Support
  9. Management & Reporting Tools
  10. Security 
  11. Cost
  12. Migration Support
  13. Deployment Speed
  14. Control

How to define your decision criteria for cloud services vendors

Now that your needs are defined, you must decide how to assign priority.

How valuable is each need to your organization, and how will you weigh each relative to others? To help assess what’s most important, ask yourself questions like these:

  • Is security your top priority, or are other factors more important to you, like reliability, cost, flexibility, integrations, etc.?
  • Would you accept trade-offs in other areas to completely fulfill this need?
  • Which needs are you ready to compromise on in exchange for meeting your priority need? 
  • If you had to rank your needs from 1-10, how would you prioritize them?
  • Are there any non-negotiable needs that you cannot compromise?
  • If your industry requires compliance, do you need any specific certifications?
  • Are you willing to pay more for a solution that meets or exceeds your essential needs?
  • Will the importance of particular needs change in the future?
  • Should you adjust your prioritization now based on anticipated changes in the future?

To ensure a logical and impartial decision-making process, define your decision criteria in advance. While some individuals may prefer creating a complex spreadsheet for analysis, it is not necessary to be that formal. Failing to take the time to determine decision criteria upfront often leads to suboptimal outcomes resulting from gut-based decisions. You can avoid this and achieve better results by investing a little effort in defining your decision criteria.

Research the best cloud services vendors that meet your needs

To begin your search for cloud vendors, consulting reputable sources that compile lists and reviews is recommended. Some reputable sources for best-of-cloud vendor lists and reviews include:

These lists will provide you with a starting point for your research. You’ll need to understand their solutions and figure out which needs they address and how well. This research can be challenging for non-experts. If you have a strategic technology advisor, we highly recommend involving them at this stage.

Consult with your strategic technology advisors

You should engage your vendor’s vCIO or strategic consultant if you are outsourcing to a Managed Services Provider. Getting these leaders on board is vital as they will support and manage the transition. Soliciting their opinions, insights, and recommendations is crucial to ensure they are comfortable with your chosen solution(s). In addition, they can provide a different perspective on the available options by assessing them from a technology angle, allowing you to understand the pros, cons, and costs fully.

Involve other advisors, such as your Board of Directors, in the decision-making process. These advisors can bring value to the process by asking questions you may not have considered. As they are familiar with your business, they can offer unique insights that your technical advisor may need help to provide.

Assess your options

When comparing and assessing different cloud vendors, it’s essential to consider various factors. First, from a business perspective, determine if the cloud service will meet your current and future needs and fit well with your organization’s existing and future processes. Solicit feedback from stakeholders, such as key employees and managers, to ensure the solution is appropriate for your team.

Next, assess the technology implications of adopting the cloud service. Seek guidance from a technology advisor to understand the potential impacts on your organization, as there may be unique and unforeseen costs. Confirm compatibility with your existing systems and software and identify any necessary upgrades or changes.

Evaluate your plan for implementation and ongoing management. If you lack experience or time, consider involving a cloud consulting firm or managed service provider for seamless implementation and ongoing management. Alternatively, suppose you have a competent IT staff with sufficient time. In that case, you may engage directly with the cloud services vendor or their consulting partners.

Finally, remember the importance of determining your implementation plan upfront to ensure a smooth transition and avoid unexpected costs. A technology advisor can provide valuable insight and guidance in this process.

Review your decision criteria frequently while assessing. Rank the cloud vendors according to the importance of each of your criteria. Take a thoughtful and organized approach. Impulsive decisions based on gut feelings about a vendor, or even worse, a sales rep, lead to bad outcomes. 

Your goal in the assessing phase is to reduce your options to 3 or fewer for each technology going to the cloud. That is critical to making a successful decision in the next stage.


When researching a cloud technology solution, it is recommended to begin by screening out options to arrive at a manageable number of choices. During the assessment stage, you can reduce further. However, avoiding too many options per technology is essential, as it can make the decision-making process challenging. If there are still four or more options per technology, it is advisable to backtrack to the previous step.

Continually revisiting the organization’s needs and decision criteria is crucial throughout the process. If there are changes in thinking, it is necessary to revise the needs and criteria. Return to the research and assessment stages if needed based on the revised needs. It is essential to take your time with the decision-making process. Still, it is equally important to avoid getting stuck in decision-paralysis mode.

Adopting cloud technology can provide substantial benefits to an organization. Therefore, taking time and effort and nitpicking over minor details is advisable. If you execute these steps correctly, there will be excellent options.


Learn More About How Framework IT’s Unique Managed Services Pricing Model Incentives Clients to Adopt Data-Driven Best Practices, Such as Using Cloud Applications!