The cloud has become foundational to today’s IT operations. It offers scalability, flexibility, and cost efficiency. Especially when comparing cloud services to on-premise solutions.
MSPs, or managed service providers, have become the operators. They help businesses optimize their cloud environment for much the same reasons—right-size, right-cost, and on-demand infrastructure management, security, and support without a large commitment of human resources.
However, despite many businesses moving to cloud services and contracting with MSPs, the true benefits of both are often misunderstood or underutilized.
Here are what we consider to be the top six benefits, in more detail.
- Scalability and flexibility: whether you need more storage, computing power, or additional resources, a reliable cloud services provider ensures your infrastructure can adapt to changing demands. Similarly, an MSP with expertise in cloud services management can help you optimize your resources and ensure smooth scalability.
- Reliability and performance: downtime and performance issues can have a significant impact on your business operations, productivity, and customer satisfaction. A reputable cloud services provider with robust infrastructure and data centers can offer high availability and reliability, minimizing the risk of downtime. Additionally, a competent MSP can monitor and manage your cloud services environment, proactively addressing potential issues and ensuring optimal performance.
- Data security and compliance: a trustworthy cloud services provider implements robust security measures, such as encryption, access controls, and regular backups that protect your data from unauthorized access, breaches, and data loss. Additionally, an MSP with expertise in security can provide additional layers of protection, including threat detection, vulnerability assessments, and compliance support.
- Cost optimization: cloud services offer cost advantages, allowing businesses to pay for what they use and avoid significant upfront investments. However, without proper management, costs can quickly escalate. Choosing a cloud services provider with transparent pricing models, cost management tools, and optimization expertise can help you control expenses and maximize the value of your investment. Similarly, an MSP can assist in identifying cost-saving opportunities and optimizing your cloud resources.
- Technical expertise and support: selecting a cloud services provider with a strong reputation and experience in your industry will give you access to their knowledge and support. Furthermore, an MSP specializing in cloud services can offer specialized skills, round-the-clock support, and proactive management, ensuring your infrastructure operates smoothly and efficiently.
- Business continuity and disaster recovery: unforeseen events like natural disasters or system failures can disrupt business operations. Cloud services providers often have robust disaster recovery plans, redundant infrastructure, and backup systems to minimize downtime and ensure business continuity. An MSP can assist in designing and implementing disaster recovery strategies, as well as regularly testing and updating them to maintain their effectiveness.
Given that cloud migration offers such an array of benefits and that MSPs specialize in maximizing those benefits, it’s no surprise that both have become widely adopted. However, choosing which cloud services provider and MSP to contract with can be difficult. There is no shortage of options for either. That said, there are qualities you should value.
For cloud services providers, look for:
- Multiple data centers, redundancy measures, and service level agreements (SLAs) that guarantee high uptime.
- Compliance certifications, such as ISO 27001, SOC 2, or other industry specific credentials.
- Auto scaling, elastic load balancing, and easy resource moving.
- Transparent pricing, cost management tools, and immediate scaling—up or down.
For MSPs, look for:
- Documented expertise, in the form of client references and respected and recognized certifications.
- Service offerings that are broad and in alignment with your organizational needs.
- Detailed SLAs that meet your business requirements.
- Monitoring and support service capabilities that are available 24/7/365.
- Availability of resources—to meet immediate needs, as well as proven ability to quickly staff to meet future needs.
- Financial stability and longevity.
- Cultural fit, ranging from values to communication style and preferences to responsiveness.
In summary, choosing the right cloud services and MSP provider is essential for businesses aiming to leverage the cloud’s benefits while ensuring optimal performance, security, and cost efficiency. By conducting thorough research, evaluating providers based on their offerings, reputation, expertise, and customer reviews, your business can make a well informed decision that aligns with your specific needs and long-term goals.