Many IT leaders have been asking themselves if they need a Cloud Managed Service Provider (MSP). Given a lack of experienced cloud technologists and growing complexities, the answer seems clear.
As Gartner has pointed out, the chances of businesses having a “no cloud” policy will soon sound as ridiculous as having a “no Internet” policy today.
Find out the top reasons why you need an MSP and how to choose the right partner.
Why Companies are Turning to a New Kind of Partner: Cloud Managed Service Provider
When a business invests in the cloud, it opens the door to significant change and digital transformation. But no matter how great the promised value, as with any change, risks and uncertainties are bound to follow. Businesses that are ill-prepared for the cloud frequently face many hurdles.
Financial Insight & Cloud Governance
Most businesses have poor visibility into their cloud costs and lack appropriate cloud governance. This leads to:
- Configuration errors,
- Ineffective controls, and
- Unnecessary cloud costs
This can create budget chaos for the uninitiated.
A Rapid Pace of Change
A shift from slow-and-predictable upgrade cycles, to hundreds of new cloud services and patches upgrades a year means many businesses get caught off-guard. This leads to vulnerabilities, performance disruptions, and hours of excess manual work. It also means you miss out on potentially valuable new features as they become available.
The Cloud Skills Gap
The odds your internal resources are well-equipped to navigate this new cloud landscape are slim. Yes, you can spend time and money on training, research, education, or hire an (expensive) in-house cloud professional. But this often means delays to leveraging cloud technologies in a way that delivers material value to the business.
For these and other reasons, many organizations look to a cloud managed service provider (MSP) for support. An MSP can help you overcome these challenges. They can:
- Right-size your expenses,
- Deliver useful and timely insights, and
- Enable best practices for every step of your cloud journey – from configuration to cloud optimization.
Still, not all cloud managed service providers are the same. Picking the right one depends on your needs, as well as the experience and approach of the provider.
How to Pick the Right Cloud Managed Service Provider
In general, you need to understand what you want before deciding on the right cloud service provider. A good MSP should be able to help you define and then refine, your cloud strategy. No matter what stage of the cloud adoption process you find yourself in.
When it comes time to pick your MSP, follow these key criteria and guidelines:
Deep Expertise in Your Cloud Platform of Choice
Your managed service provider should have proven experience designing, delivering and perfecting solutions for the cloud provider you are considering.
- Are they a credible, recognized partner of Microsoft or Amazon?
- Do they have the highest-possible credentialed experts?
If none of this applies, move on!
Ability to Support (and Challenge) Your Vision and Cloud Strategy
Does the MSP offer one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter approach? Or do they seek to understand your goals, and offer research and curated insights to develop your cloud migration strategy?
You want a partner who has experienced enough to understand what will actually work for your business and to spot the risks you can’t see. Managed service providers that provide you with objective, non-biased assessments and customer-centric methodologies are your best bet.
Ability to Support a Broad Range of Cloud Solutions
The cloud enterprise involves the use of many apps, workloads, and strategies to be successful. Your managed service provider should have a proven record of delivering and supporting a broad range of solutions from your chosen provider, from Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) to Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
Don’t team up with a Microsoft Office 365 shop, only to find out they can’t help you with your Microsoft Azure project.
Automated, Repeatable Methodologies
Experienced managed service providers offer a range of automated and templated cloud services. It means you can:
- Get on the cloud faster,
- Maintain consistency on the platform, and
- Reduce human error.
Find an MSP with a clear offering of automated, machine-driven processes. Processes that have been built from experience gained in delivering projects in relevant industries.
Powerful Insight and Cloud Governance Tools
Clearly understanding how your cloud resources are being consumed is essential to optimizing your cloud costs and reducing risks. Unfortunately, cloud providers offer very limited “out of the box” capabilities to address this need.
A good cloud managed service provider needs to fill in the blanks, with a unified, dashboard view of your entire cloud operation. This should include curated reports, easy to action recommendations, and ongoing support, to help you make the best decisions to optimize your cloud spend over time.
See how Softchoice can help manage your cloud in a proactive, timely manner so you always get the most out of it.