DCN May 2016 - Page 40

software as a service 3. You can't afford to keep your data centre out of sight and out of mind Make sure your supplier is equipped with round-the-clock video and audio monitoring. such as financial services, healthcare, medical and defence. Here, business leaders must comply with the likes of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) and Data Security Standards (DSS) regulations, the UK Data Protection Act (DPA), ISO 27000 series, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), to name just a few. The crucial consideration here is that not all data centre providers will be compliant with all regulations. It's the responsibility of business and IT leaders to ensure that these measures are in place. The best advice when choosing your data centre is to make sure your supplier uses compliance ready hardware and software with advanced safety measures, high-bit encryption and the latest security certificates, as well as being equipped with roundthe-clock video and audio monitoring. However, be prepared to pay a premium for higher levels of security 40 and compliance. For example, Parker Software's ProspectAgent uses Microsoft Azure, a service that offers geo-redundant hosting – if a server experiences hardware failure, a power outage or even a natural disaster, service is instantly moved to a geographically redundant location anywhere in the world, thereby maintaining provision and uptime. Despite this, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. In times when the service does experience problems – for example during an extended Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in the financial sector – customers are given a personal account manager and a dedicated phoneline. This is indispensable when, as a business, you're firefighting an influx of inbound calls from irate customers demanding to get back online immediately. It is during times like these that being able to tell your customers that you've mitigated and managed the problem is invaluable. The evolution of data centres has certainly afforded businesses lots of flexibility and operational efficiency improvements, but this doesn't mean that you can leave your data centre out of sight and out of mind. Most service level agreements (SLAs) make it compulsory that the SaaS provider maintains responsibility for the continued maintenance and updates of software, meaning that the buck stops there and not with the data centre. As a result, it's crucial that you ro