How to Engage in a Successful Partnership With a Cloud Service Provider

A recent Tech Poll/Tech Priorities Survey conducted by CIO magazine shows that 29% of CIOs surveyed are actively researching cloud computing services. And with good reason. Migrating business-critical applications to the cloud can enhance an organization’s agility, reduce the need for limited capital budget dollars and allow in-house IT staff to focus on other critical initiatives. With the proliferation of cloud service providers (CSPs), companies who are looking to partner with a trusted CSP need to carefully evaluate their services, processes and support models. Below are some tips for engaging in a successful partnership with a cloud service provider.

Know what cloud models the cloud service provider offers

In its 2013 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting for North America, Gartner Group describes the importance of management in the cloud, stating:  “All types of infrastructure require management. Prospective customers often assume that the cloud IaaS [infrastructure-as-a-service] requires less management – they think that because they are in the cloud, IT operations management functions such patch management, backups and disaster recovery are taken care of automatically. Broadly this is not true . . .”

Before engaging with a cloud service provider, have a clear idea of how much management responsibility you want them to assume, and how much you want your IT staff to handle. Your CSP should work with you to determine what cloud IaaS model best meets your business needs – self-service, fully-managed or empowered. Self-service models are a viable option for companies who have a trained, dedicated in-house IT team that can resolve the most complex technical issues. A fully-managed model provides expensive, end-to-end implementation and management services. However, this model offers no visibility or control over the environment. In between is the empowered IaaS management model, which HOSTING pioneered. In the empowered IaaS model, customers can determine how much support they require from the CSP. Support levels can also be scaled as customers’ capabilities and needs change.

Mapping the CSP’s offerings back to your business goals and internal resources will help you avoid investing too much or too little into your cloud initiative.

Understand the cloud service provider’s cloud migration process

IT projects often take months to implement, and often entail a rigorous requirements process that consumes not only IT staff time, but also line-of-business resources. Typical cloud offerings can be deployed and customized to your requirements within a matter of days or weeks – provided you work with your CSP to develop a project plan that outlines resources, deliverables, timelines and metrics.

HOSTING’s proprietary cloud methodology is grounded in thousands of successful data migrations. Our enterprise cloud hosting solution architects provide clients with detailed project plans including implementation steps and checklists, testing and reporting, milestones and contingencies, and so forth. Through careful planning, there are no surprises – just results.

Understanding how a CSP plans and implements its cloud computing solutions will not only help you allocate internal resources, but ensure that critical deadlines and deliverables are met.

Know where to click and who to call for support

Cloud Service ProviderData security is often a chief concern for companies considering a move to the cloud. Some questions to ask when evaluating a CSP include:

  • Does it take responsibility for customers’ data and provide security guarantees?
  • Does its solution offer visibility into security events and responses?
  • Does it provide monthly reports on security events and responses?

It’s critical to understand the security and disaster recovery measures the CSP has in place. Regardless of what cloud model you select, you need visibility into your environment as well as a dedicated support team that knows your business almost as well as you do.

At HOSTING, one call or click is all it takes to get the support you need. Our customers have dedicated support teams that provide real-time service and operations visibility. Regardless of when or how you contact us, you will be connected with a member of our support team who is well-versed in your business.

To learn more about how to engage in successful partnership with a Cloud Service Provider, attend our webinar on April 10th, Cloud Migration Services – Simplifying Your Journey to the Cloud.

 

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