Understanding the benefits of managed cloud services

May 25 2017, by Pierre Lintzer | Category: Cloud Services

Foreword: This article is an excerpt from a white-paper designed to help IT and business leaders understand the exciting opportunities enabled by a successful migration to the cloud, particularly the hybrid cloud. Click here to download your free copy.

 

The key to reducing risk and gaining competitive edge in the cloud.

You don’t have to take on the risks inherent to a go-it-alone cloud migration. Not only that, you don’t have to deal with all of the complexities involved with building, creating and executing a successful cloud strategy.
There are expert partners that can manage those tasks for you in a way that will:

  • Save you money,
  • Accelerate time to value,
  • Ease the pressure on your IT staff,
  • Future-proof your organisation so you are well prepared for digital transformation, big data analytics or any other exciting opportunities that might appear on the horizon.

 

The path to achieving such benefits is to work with a full-service provider of managed cloud services for your hybrid cloud deployment. By leveraging the expertise and experience of a managed cloud services provider, your organisation can ensure that its hybrid cloud migration is:

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Cost-efficient Secure Reliable Manageable

 

The benefits of this model can be applied at any stage of the cloud journey:

  1. If you are using public cloud services,
  2. If you’ve already tried a do-it-yourself hybrid cloud and need help in getting to the next level,
  3. If you understand the benefits of a hybrid cloud or hybrid IT strategy but are intimidated by the myriad challenges involved in the migration.

A full-service provider of managed cloud services will work closely with your IT team to understand your goals and challenges and create a migration plan that suits the specific needs of your business.

With hybrid cloud, there will be many choices for different workloads and applications. Some may:

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Remain on premises or in colocated or managed data centres. Be in the public cloud. Be suited for IaaS, PaaS or SaaS deployments.

 

In addition, depending upon the models you deploy, the managed cloud services provider can put together a comprehensive and customised strategy that addresses all of your other concerns, including:

 

  • Security protections
  • Cost predictions
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • IT governance
  • Uptime guarantees

 

What about from a business standpoint?

This managed cloud services approach offers myriad benefits, including the ability to:

  • Control costs.
    • Move to an Opex model that is much more predictable while continuing to get value from existing infrastructure investments.
  • Enhance agility.
    • Deploy services-oriented IT that allows users to leverage shared resources, elastic scalability and self-service capabilities.
  • Increase reliability and uptime.
    • Take advantage of uptime guarantees as well as business continuity functionality such as disaster recovery as a service and backup as a service.
  • Be prepared.
    • Access qualified staff at all times to get you up and running quickly if there is an issue that could potentially impact availability.
  • Reduce complexity.
    • Utilise the skills and staff of a managed services provider to simplify deployments and accelerate time to value for new products and services.
  • Strengthen security and compliance.
    • Gain specific assurances from your provider about data protection and support for critical security standards and compliance, such as ISO 270001, PCI-DSS, and Tier III, among others.
  • Ensure data sovereignty and integrity.
    • Know where your data is located at all times, as well as who can access it and how it is impacted by local and industry-specific laws and regulations. Data residency/sovereignty and data protection are among the critical areas that will be managed by your provider.

 

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A guide to choosing the right cloud partner.

Working with a full-service managed cloud services provider will allow you to focus on your core business with the assurance that your underlying IT platform is service-oriented, modern, cost-efficient, secure and compliant.

You will be able to maintain competitive advantage without putting unreasonable pressure on your IT team to deploy and manage complex cloud environments. In fact, you can redeploy IT personnel to address more strategic endeavours that support business growth and innovation.

The reality, however, is that not all managed cloud services providers approach their customers in the same way. Some providers take a cookie-cutter type of approach, giving you a menu of services from which to choose, but not providing customised guidance and direction as to what you should do and how you should do it.

When embarking on a bet-your-business initiative like hybrid cloud, this kind of standardised, one-size-fits-all approach is inappropriate and, in fact, may be counterproductive.

 

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Customisation

The first and most important consideration is a managed cloud services provider that takes a highly customised, tailored approach to hybrid cloud.

You want:

  • A provider with a proven methodology that is collaborative and personal,
  • To be able to sit down with a team of experts and discuss your business challenges, budgets and existing IT infrastructure,
  • To be able to access a regular, dedicated, local team of experts that can provide direction, guidance and action every step of the way—from initial planning and architecting, to deployment, to ongoing management, expansion and upgrades.

 

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A Broad Portfolio

In addition to customisation, it is absolutely vital that your managed cloud services provider offers a complete portfolio of services that can address all of your needs, whether on premise, in a colocation facility, in a hosted private cloud or in the public cloud.

Hybrid cloud is designed to bring all of your resources together and enable you to utilise them to best address the specific challenges and opportunities of your organisation. If your provider offers only public cloud or does not have expertise in on-premises infrastructure, your options may be limited.

Also, you want to use the right services for each application and workload, so you need the flexibility to choose from among IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, DRaaS, colocation, hosting and any other applicable services.

 

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Expertise and Experience

As discussed in previous post, there is a shortage of personnel who are experienced and qualified to architect and manage complex hybrid cloud deployments. While this is a problem for companies that are not in the business of building cloud environments, this is not a problem for a leading provider of managed cloud services. Cloud is the provider’s area of expertise, its raison d’être, so it has to have the right people and practices in place.

Beyond having the right people, a managed cloud services provider should have vast experience across all industries, serving companies of all sizes. None of the problems you present should be a surprise, and the provider should be able to leverage its experience and knowledge to develop a customised approach that fits your specific needs.

Safe, Secure, Reliable and Sound Trust is perhaps the most critical word in choosing a partner. Your partner should provide:

  • Guarantees in uptime and availability,
  • Extensive security measures and a regimented update schedule to ensure that defences are current,
  • The latest security technologies, including next-generation firewalls, strong data encryption and an encrypted channel through which your company can access its applications.
  • Guarantee compliance with data protection standards, with all necessary security and vendor certifications,
  • A long history of reliability, with an uptime guarantee of 99.99% or higher.

 

This article is an excerpt from a white-paper designed to help IT and business leaders understand the exciting opportunities enabled by a successful migration to the cloud, particularly the hybrid cloud. Click on the button below to download your free copy.

 

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