What to Look for in a Managed Cloud Service Provider
In a previous article, we explored 8 benefits of a managed cloud service. To achieve these benefits, however, you need to have the right managed cloud service provider, the partner who will implement, manage, and keep your cloud solution running. This article will look at how you can find the best one for your organization.
There are several steps in the evaluation process.
- Understanding the challenges of moving to the cloud, so you can measure your strengths and weakness to know where you need support.
- Identifying the key benefits managed service providers offer to know what areas are of greatest interest to your organization.
- Building the list of questions that you will seek answers for during the research and interview stage.
Challenges of moving to the cloud
Cloud hosting offers many benefits to organizations. Some of these include secured, remote access for employees, scalable technology that supports growth, and sustainability.
We find most companies today understand that cloud computing can help them improve their overall business efficiency. At the same time, many organizations are unaware of the financial and operational setbacks that can occur when cloud deployments are executed poorly.
Execution is key as a company doesn’t just move into the cloud. Adopting public, private, or hybrid cloud models for your business requires due diligence and planning in several areas.
Common challenges that businesses face when managing their own cloud deployments are:
- Large upfront IT expenses
- Hidden costs and risk of 'learning on the fly'
- Inadequate staff support & migration experience
- Security and compliance issues
- Poor performance and reliability
- Data loss and recovery
Planning and addressing these challenges pose a large undertaking for any organization – be it a small business, mid-market business, or enterprise. This is why many organizations choose to work with managed cloud service providers. They can help you adopt a methodical approach to plan and execute your cloud business model.
Cloud providers will help you organize your cloud infrastructure. They can also help you save significant costs in the process.
Benefits of using a managed cloud service provider
Working with an experienced enterprise-level cloud consultant takes the guesswork out of your cloud integration. Experienced cloud providers will help you organize your cloud infrastructure. They can also help you save significant costs in the process.
A managed service provider helps to create practical digital transformation strategies that lead to successful cloud deployments. Their extensive knowledge in cloud-based environments enables them to support businesses with the latest technology, centralized network services and applications, and a highly scalable IT infrastructure.
Depending on your IT needs, working with a managed service provider can fill multiple gaps in your day-to-day operations and cloud integration processes. Here is a list of advantages when deciding to work with an managed cloud services provider (MSP):
- Predictable costs and scalability - Working with service providers give you the flexibility of not having to make large up-front investments in your IT infrastructure. MSPs also help companies stay agile by making it easy and affordable to regularly update and patch network applications, services, and equipment.
- Technical expertise - MSPs know the ins and outs of cloud computing. They also have the advantage of working with various organizations in multiple shapes and sizes, affording them the technical expertise required to execute your cloud deployment effectively.
- 24/7 security support - Managed cloud service providers can work outside of your core business hours, ensuring your networks stay protected at all times. This ensures that as network threats are detected, your team of dedicated security staff can go to work protecting your business’s digital assets.
- Disaster recovery planning - Most organizations cannot afford extended periods of downtime with their mission-critical systems. MSPs can help manage all disaster recovery efforts for your business in the event of data breaches or other catastrophic events.
As you look at these benefits, you should consider, would one benefit your organization more than the others? You can prioritize your needs based on which of these benefits helps you the most.
Questions to ask a potential managed cloud services provider
As you begin your search for a cloud services provider, you should make a list of questions by which you will evaluate each potential partner. Here are some questions to get your list started.
- What types of services do you offer? While most MSPs offer a full range of services, it’s important to find one that can provide you the type of cloud integration you are looking for.
- What are your support response times? MSPs should clearly define the level of support they offer and when you can expense a response to any system outages or network failures.
- Where and how is your data stored? When managing regulatory compliance standards, it’s vital that you have full transparency when seeing how client data is collected, stored, and transmitted.
- Have you ever managed cloud services for a company like mine? It’s important for your MSP to invest the time it takes to understand your business needs and if they can meet them. Both parties should be in full agreement with all strategies in place and have a clear roadmap in place that will be followed.
Managed cloud service providers offer a wide array of products and services to make your cloud deployment a success. By taking the time to strategize before integration and working with an MSP to properly execute on your business needs, you can save significant time and resources as you move forward with your digital transformation.
Have questions about managed cloud services? Contact us to speak with one of our cloud computing professionals.
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