PERTH, Australia, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Selecting a vendor to work with is a crucial step in any cloud project. The right vendor can make your IT systems more stable and user-friendly, and help you deliver a successful project. Choose the wrong vendor, and you could end up with security disasters, outages, or project failures. Here are the top 7 mistakes that businesses make when selecting a cloud vendor, according to InspectorJones.com, an independent IT advisory firm helping businesses select software and services. Mistake 1: Selecting cloud services based on features alone With cloud services, it's critical to choose a healthy vendor, who has good security practices, and a quality service. However, many businesses report that they didn't know the key things to look for until much later in the project. "We've seen businesses shocked with unexpected costs for integration, testing, and ongoing maintenance," says Damian Bramanis from InspectorJones.com, "or support teams that aren't available when you need them. Vendor lock-in can also be a nasty surprise, where exit costs are so high it prevents you from leaving the service." Mistake 2: Assuming services will fit your organisation While a cloud service on its own might look great, many projects fail because people didn't consider how it will fit their workflow, corporate branding, integration with IT systems, mobile or desktop environment. If a new system forces unnecessary change to the way people work, or requires them to remember a new username and password, expect backlash. Mistake 3: Spending too little time investigating other customers' experiences "Often it's hard to know how a cloud service will perform in your organisation," says Bramanis, "and marketing information or sales demos don't always tell the real story. That's why we always recommend clients speak to other real-world customers."