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- Are they flexible enough to meet your changing business needs?
- Would the staff be able to integrate into the organization quickly?
- In a crisis, can they easily be accessed?
- What is their availability?
- What are the plans for the future?
- Are you going to get a true partnership?
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There are many options for managed cloud service providers.
Buyers of IT services need to know that a potential service provider is a good match. Is the provider’s team willing to spend time getting to know your business? Does the team respond quickly to issues when they arise? What about the key players feeling like your key players as well?
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. While any service-based relationship can be defined with a contract, many argue that the proof is in the eating. It is only through trial and error that you will be able to pick a winner to your satisfaction.
Are they flexible enough to meet your changing business needs?
One advantage of outsourcing cloud services is that you can specify your exact requirements and sit back, knowing that the buck now stops elsewhere.
Up to a point, that’s fine. With growth, however, things change. Can your managed cloud service provider genuinely adapt to your changing needs as you grow? Upfront, you should explore it profoundly and interrogate it. Which clients do they currently have? When did they begin offering support, and what do they do now?
Would the staff be able to integrate into the organization quickly?
Businesses are the sum of their people – this is especially true of service businesses, but it applies to all businesses.
Outsourcing functions to service providers requires outsiders – and those outsiders must be integrated into the company and act as employees. It’s not just a matter of them playing an effective role, but getting involved enough to learn what your clients expect and how the business meets those expectations.
A company’s training culture and support will play a large part in how quickly its managed service company and its representatives integrate. Still, it also reflects a willingness to get involved, learn, and become part of the team – along with all-important technical knowledge.
In a crisis, can they easily be accessed?
Supporting and maintaining business-critical data requires managed cloud service providers to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Managing risks requires that businesses have confidence that potential data dramas and cyber issues can be dealt with immediately, regardless of whether it’s Wednesday morning in February or Christmas day.
Some problems do not require individual intervention, of course. System and network monitoring ensure most potential problems can be dealt with before escalating. Before signing up, make sure you check for availability and smart automation from all angles.
In addition to how well a managed cloud service provider takes control on behalf of a client, it’s also worth noting how well the service provider takes control on behalf of its client. Backup of data is automated, consistent, and performed on a remote server for safety. Has the network been regularly tested for security and monitored for attacks against cybercriminals and hackers? Does the technology undergo regular updates to prevent problems in advance? Does a company sign up with a managed cloud services provider upgrades their current piecemeal practices as part of its contract?
What are the opinions of existing clients? In addition to what has been discussed so far, and managed cloud service provider of record should not be afraid to reach out to several of its clients for an insider’s perspective.
Also, it’s easy enough to find these things outside of official channels to find a less sanitized version potentially – so pick up the phone and talk to a reference client.
What is their availability?
Managed cloud service providers can boast impressive uptime statistics, but are these numbers as impressive as they seem? In comparison to services that take in multiple data centers worldwide, a single location captures uptime and availability figures differently.
Therefore, check the details. How do you get the numbers you see, and where does it come from?
Taking into account what you will need in the future
Cloud computing is here to stay, and there are many managed cloud service providers now. Although a mature market appears to be a good thing at first glance if the landscape changes constantly – as it does – you have to ensure that a provider keeps up with history and develops a future-oriented offering. Are they doing anything cutting edge now? Is there anything in the works? Even if serverless and managed containers are not currently offered, will they be soon? Taking care of what you need now, as well as what you will need in the future, is key.
In today’s globalized, agile digital businesses, the IT infrastructure needed is changing rapidly, which is why managed cloud providers are a good choice. Thus, a provider should demonstrate its current expertise in this area.
Recent years have witnessed a dramatic uptake of containers and microservices, for example, as business conditions are right. Flexible and agile applications are already in the mix for corporations, and the cloud is a significant part of this picture. You need to work with a provider that will take you on this journey, one that is invested in partnering with you to make a project such as this a success.
What are the plans for the future?
A good cloud provider will sit down with a prospective client to align potential technology projects with business goals. Even if it happens only once a year, it’s an essential tool for any company seeking to reach new heights. Get it straight from the start: will the service provider support planning, and under what conditions? Is this part of the basic plan or an additional cost?
Are you going to get a true partnership?
It’s important to step back from the details and see the bigger picture here. Managed cloud service providers should quickly transform into trusted partners that grow.
It is common for companies to contact technical support when they have a complex problem that they must solve quickly. For example, many people have tried to resolve a problem but haven’t quite succeeded. There are several good reasons the team may fall short – maybe it’s a complex project, or maybe there’s just too much going on for them to handle. It may be illegal to build certain types of housing in some jurisdictions, so a robust, compliant, and ready-to-go cloud platform is essential.
Thank you for reading!