Whatever the size of your organization, it runs on data. By adopting cloud you can make this data available anytime and anywhere across your company to the stakeholders. But this convenience becomes moot if your cloud infrastructure is not managed properly.
Without consistent and comprehensive cloud management, your business is prone to security threats, data loss and cost increase. Thus bringing in the right cloud managed services provider is critical for your business. In this blog we are going to look at the right time to bring in a managed service provider and what are the criteria that needs to be looked into before making your decision.
Why go for a cloud managed services provider?
Before going on any further the first question that needs to be answered is this – Why do I need a cloud managed service provider? Here is the answer.
Experience: A cloud managed service provider is one who has worked with multiple clients, with varied cloud services providers and gained unique cloud experience which your inhouse teams might not have. This experience enables them to solve complex problems quickly and efficiently.
Cost reduction: A cloud managed service provider will have multiple clients which a single agent can handle with ease. This way their overheads are reduced and transfer this economies of scale on to their customers thereby reducing costs.
When is the right time to hire a managed service provider?
There are various scenarios when you will realize you need to hire a cloud managed service provider. They are:
- You need more manpower immediately to manage your infrastructure.
- Your existing managed service provider is not up to the task.
- Your inhouse team is not able to manage your cloud infrastructure.
- Your migration project has stalled.
- Your recent update has bugs that need to be fixed but your current team is not able to find a solution.
- Your cloud cost is going over budget.
- You do have the time or resources to monitor your cloud spends.
- You are not able to decipher the bill from your cloud service provider nor choose the right plan for you.
The 5 point checklist to follow before choosing your cloud managed service provider
Here are the 8 points to consider when choosing your new provider
Always available, friendly and talented staff
Check for a reputable company that has relevant experience and certifications. Check if the staff are friendly, receptive to suggestions and most important – awareness of current technology, expertise in multiple vital areas and a dedication to continuous learning.
Your cloud managed service partner must be available 24/7. They need to work with you to solve any kind of problems as soon as they come-up.
A Clear Service Level Agreement (SLA)
In your contract make sure you get detailed information of responsibilities, response times and security provided by the provider. The following questions need to be answered in your SLA:
- How long will they take to respond to an issue?
- How quickly can they restore services?
- Are there any financial incentives applied for delayed service response time?
- What are the service, guarantees, and the penalties if requirements are not met?
It is best to check the managed service provider is offering a written service level commitment clause that outlines how they are handling issues by severity and impact on the business. These critical/severe issues or emergencies should include a committed service response. Other vital clauses that need to be a part of the agreement are change management, data migration, process controls, access policies, and infrastructure resource management.
Excellent Service Availability
As your business grows so does your IT expenses. This increase in cost is due to the increase in manpower, IT infrastructure and software licenses. It is to manage these costs that you hire a cloud managed service provider. They can
- Introduce standard applications that are suitable for your entire organization and cut individual preferences. This can help in scaling up or down of users based on requirements.
- Ensure continuous uptime – best offered by most firms is 99.99%
Take the time to understand the fee structure of the service provider. You will be asking for bids from multiple vendors to see which is more cost effective. But ensure that you are making the choice that best fits your needs and not just on the cheapest option. This is because some firms might increase the price of hardware and software licenses but show their service cost lesser.
In general, because of shared equipment, the vendor should not be passing on resource costs directly to you. Do your own research to determine for yourself if the pricing is reasonable. Look for attractive offerings with a-la-carte pricing, special packages, and flexible options.
With new technology being introduced everyday be sure that the cloud service provider you choose is receptive to new technologies. They must be ready to find innovative solutions that are also cost effective. Only if they are ready to enhance themselves can you streamline your business and always stay ahead of the competition.
Cloud managed service providers offer you a more reliable service that far outweighs your on-prem infrastructure. They help reduce costs and risks while improving security and service availability. Remember that the managed services provider you partner with is for the long run and they will affect your business directly and indirectly. So ensure you choose the right partner.
Are you looking for a cloud-managed service that checks all the above boxes and provides you even more? Ziffity is cloud-managed services provider with 7+ years of relevant AWS experience in managing complex cloud environments for our customers, we are a team of AWS experts focused on delivering unparalleled customer success.