Managed Cloud: The Easy Way to Building, Maintaining and Securing Your Optimal Environment
Cloud adoption is both more complicated and simpler than most companies expect. While cloud providers make it easy for you to sign up to their services, their fee structures can be complicated, as can the fine print for migrating out to another cloud provider down the line. The breadth and diversity of solutions have also made it more difficult in choosing, implementing, and managing cloud.
It takes a team
Creating and maintaining an optimal cloud environment takes a considerable amount of skills (which have to be constantly updated) and experience. The cost of having, training and retraining such a team in-house is prohibitive for most companies. But the consequence of having a team that’s unable to cope is even higher.
In a multi-cloud environment, errors are easy to make and tough to track. Documentation has to be flawless, or the resignation of a single employee could mean losing irreplaceable knowledge. Untracked services would also rack up costs.
Instead of burdening your IT team with keeping abreast with and overseeing a multi-cloud solution, supplement them with a trusted partner who can take over any of the tasks they need help with. This includes providing advice on strategy, reining in costs, facilitating migrations, beefing up security, and more.
Choosing the right managed cloud provider starts with asking the right questions. To ensure you get the right managed cloud provider, ask:
- What exactly can you do for me?
The correct answer for this is: everything. Choose a partner who will be a one-stop-shop for all your managed cloud needs, including initial consultation, architecture guidance, migration, backup and disaster recover, and training.
If a partner’s scope is limited, you may find yourself outsourcing to multiple managers. When you are looking to simplify the complexity of multi-cloud, the last thing you want is to have to manage a disjointed team of managers.
- What are my choices?
Obviously, managed cloud partners who only work with one cloud provider will not be able to offer the range of options from someone who works with multiple providers. To cover your bases, make certain that your prospective partners work with at least two of the largest and most established cloud companies.
- Why should I trust you with my data?
Look for a partner with a well-deserved reputation: someone who has, for decades, been at the forefront of technology. Then look even closer. Who are your prospective partner’s current clients? In addition, look at their processes and accreditations. ISO certifications, for example, prove that a company has met rigorous international standards.
- How do I know you are up to the task?
Once again, look for experience. Does their list of clients include companies of your size and in your industry? Look at the cloud companies they work with as well. AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud all provide training and certification for designing, building, implementing, testing and managing their solutions. How big is their team certified in AWS, for example? And what level of Azure competency have they achieved? A committed partner is one that has invested in ensuring their team is officially qualified for the job.
- How will I be billed?
One of the top benefits of a managed cloud provider is getting a single, itemized bill each month, so there are no surprises and nothing falling through the cracks. Furthermore, a provider that bills you in Ringgit can give you greater ease of mind in regard to currency fluctuations that could change the amount you pay month-to-month.
- How will you make this worth the cost?
Look for cost-effectiveness rather than the cheapest solution. If you go with a partner who compromises the safety of your systems and data or slows down your work, it will end up costing you far more in the long run. The right partner will understand your business and clearly explain how your multi-cloud will decrease costs, improve productivity and more.
- What else do you bring to the table?
Like cloud providers, managed cloud providers are not – should not – all be the same. What else do they bundle in with their services? For example, your cloud is only as fast and accessible as your network, so avoid partners who may not be able to provide strong connections with wide coverage. If you can partner with a company that is getting a jumpstart on 5G, for instance, you are giving yourself a future advantage.
For years now, cloud has made good business sense. The Covid-19 crisis has only accelerated the uptake. As the pandemic transformed cloud from being a competitive advantage to a critical tool for survival, companies who had taken their time to consider their options were forced to finally push the button. In a time of uncertainty, you need to make sure you have every advantage at your disposal, and a managed multi-cloud will give you that powerful edge.