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With the sharp increase in start-ups trust in CSPs has never been more important

Over the past couple of years the number of business start-ups have increased dramatically up from 440,600 in 2011 to 484,224 in 2012, and over 520,000 in 2013. According to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, 95 per cent of these are small and micro business. As start-ups many will seek out IT solutions based on cloud deployment for their business.

In a post-recession economy there is more emphasis than ever for businesses to use funds and resources wisely. With a flexible workforce becoming increasingly popular, more small UK businesses are likely to move to flexible, yet cost-efficient cloud solutions to reduce their capital expenditure. But for a start-up, choosing a cloud provider can be a difficult decision to make, as they often dont have the experience or background knowledge to know what to look out for in a provider.

Trust plays a huge factor in the decision making process for these businesses. You can have cloud service providers which have an incredibly impressive sales team but that might lack the credentials, so start-ups can be signing up to solutions by going in blind.

As a general rule, it is always a good idea to begin your search for a CSP by looking at which ones are certified by a reputable industry body. The Cloud Industry Forum for example, certifies trustworthy Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) against its Code of Practice and this ensures that any cloud providers chosen from the list of those accredited can be trusted as reputable companies offering transparent and efficient cloud solutions.

When deciding on a CSP, APM Group advises that start-ups must consider the services a CSP offers carefully. This can be done by determining how specific cloud purchases will fit within their own wider IT strategy, what mechanisms the CSP has in place regarding access control and security, and also how the service is delivered and who is accountable and liable for service delivery.

With the cloud service market becoming more saturated, start-ups and Small Medium Enterprises s are faced with more choice than ever before, so it is even more important to make a smart decision about your CSP. By asking the right questions from the beginning, this can be a much easier and clearer process.

Richard Pharro is CEO of APM Group.

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