KPI’s for Cloud Service Providers & Customers


Everyone by now knows and agrees that “cloud” is here to stay but enterprises are unsure on how to make the best of the new paradigm and integrate it into their business processes to remain competitive and cost efficient.

One of the challenges faced by potential cloud customers is “how to gauge the best fit cloud services provider to help meet their business objectives”. In this article we will address few key concepts to help new and existing cloud users and customers in making better decisions when choosing the cloud service providers.
In our discussions with customers and partners we are frequently asked about:
  • How to evaluate cloud providers who provide cloud infrastructure as a service (like Amazon / Rackspace ) and applications on the cloud with SaaS model?
  • KPI’s (key performance indicators) to use when evaluating cloud service providers to fulfill a specific IT or business objective?
  • KPI’s (key performance indicators) should the cloud service providers be watching, measuring & evaluating themselves with?
Recommended standard key performance indicators (KPI) that cloud service providers can use to measure their success are:
  • Performance
    • Utilization – Ability to maximize workloads
    • Capacity – Size of the workload compared to available infrastructure
    • Satisfaction – Measure of completion percentage
  • Time
    • Promptness – measures response times
      • Example : MTTR – mean time to recovery
    • Delivery – average rate of successful delivery
    • Periodicity Assumption – actual versus expected outcome
  • Quality
    • Default Rates – Measurement of any failures or downtime
      • Example : MTBF – mean time between failures
    • Automation – Level of automated responses
    • Depth and Range of services provided
    • Pragmatic – level of ease of use
  • Cost
    • Actual – measure of any reduction in cost/expenses
    • Variable – measure of variable cost change
    • Fixed – measure of any changes in costs that are deemed fixed
  • Risk
    • Ability to manage risk
    • Infrastructure , processes and policies to manage risk
  • Profitability
    • Revenue – amount of profits generated
    • Growth – ability to increase profits
      • customers
      • initiatives
      • employees

Now let us get a handle on key performance indicators (KPI) that cloud hosting buyer should be looking for in cloud hosting services partner in order to subscribe to a viable and sustainable cloud hosting service.

Recommended KPI’s from a customer perspective when choosing the best fit cloud hosting partner should be:
  • Featured Services
    • Quality of featured services metrics
  • Cost of Featured Services
    • Basic Vs. Premium Vs. Tiered
  • Performance
    • Service Metrics
    • Platform Metrics
  • Availability
    • Uptime Metrics
    • Rate of successful service availability Metrics
  • SLA’s
    • SLA Success Metrics
  • Risk Management
    • Incident Response and Management Metrics
  • Support
    • Basic Vs. Premium
    • Live help Vs. Online
  • Cloud Service Provider Financial Viability
    • Check broad financial information if available for sustainability metrics

The aforementioned pointers are by no means a comprehensive list of items to be addressed when dealing with KPI’s in the cloud space but can surely be used as pointers for basic due diligence when going into the business of buying or selling cloud hosting services. Each one of the above KPI’s can be further extrapolated for more specific avenues of measurement. These KPI’s can have a direct impact on cloud service provider return on investment (ROI) and viability in general which in turn effects customers choice in partnering with a cloud service provider. Fortunately for customers , today there are a handful of cloud management and brokerage companies like Cloud Creo in the marketplace who know the burgeoning cloud hosting space well and are able help customers in their journey to the “cloud” to realize their business objectives.

By Harry Sangha

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